The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the Northern Ghana Governance Activity under Feed the Future for the next five years to promote food security in the areas.
The programme is a US government’s global hunger and food security initiative with focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women in Northern, Upper West and Upper East Regions of the country to take control of agricultural development in their communities.
A total number of 1.5 million people in the three regions in the north are expected to benefit from the project
The Mission Director of USAID, Andy Karas, said last year through Feed the Future the US government’s global hunger and food security initiative helped increase the incomes of more than 100,000 farmers in the three regions of the north.
He added that more than $35 million was facilitated for financing more than 500 businesses in the northern areas adding that this was done by working with key agricultural leaders.
Mr. Karas said financial institutions were inspired to assist farmers with the necessary inputs and loans to increase production.
He said through the programme a beneficiary woman farmer leads a woman farming group monitoring 75 women farmers to transform their lives.
The Northern Regional Minister, Abdulai Abubakar, who launched the project, recommended that the it should collaborate closely with Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) for effective implementation.
He also expressed the hope that the project will also focus on local government level institutions and civil society organizations to build their capacities to improve irresponsibleness and democratic government.
Mr. Abubakar said marginal role of women in agricultural development in the northern Ghana has affected efforts to accelerate development outcomes and charged traditional and religious leaders to address the problem.
He said a significant number of small holder farmers are women but do not have a voice in decision making process in relation to agriculture.
The Minister observed that women lacked the capacity and also not organized for education on their issues.
The Chief Party of CARE International, Michael Alando, said the project is being implemented in 26 districts of the three regions in the north with a goal to ensure responsive governance for improved agricultural development of the country.
He said through the project it is expected to increase food security and nutrition in the beneficiary districts.
Mr. Orlando said the project is designed to close the gap towards improved agricultural production by focusing on governance deficits that have been identified as hindering investment in agriculture in the northern areas.
By Zakaria Abdul-Kadiri|3news.com|Ghana