The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, William A. Quaittoo has stated that the Green Innovation Centre (GIC) project for the food and agriculture sector is consistent with the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, a priority of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Speaking at a three-day workshop for stakeholders in the agriculture sector at Ada, the Deputy Minister urged the GIC project team to ensure that their activities are translated into visible results for the farmers.
He urged stakeholders and beneficiaries to embrace the services and technologies being propagated by GIC to increase their yields and profitability.
The Green Innovation Centre for the Food and Agriculture Sector (GIC) Project Ghana, is collaboratively implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Over a hundred key actors in the maize and rice value chains participated in the programme.
The Green Innovation Centre is part of the special global initiative “ONE WORLD – No Hunger,” which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The objective of GIC Ghana is to support smallholder farmers and agribusinesses in the maize and rice value chains through the introduction of innovations, both technical and organisational. The aim is to increase productivity along the entire value chain, create jobs and improve rural livelihoods. GIC operates in four regions: Brong-Ahafo, Ashanti, Volta and Eastern.
Since the inception of the GIC in 2015, some successes include: 20,000 completed farmer trainings; 90 demonstration plots established; solar hybrid balloon dryers for maize distributed to 15 farmer communities; and refurbished training centres at Adidome Farm Institute and Wenchi.
The welcoming participant during the training, the Head of Cooperation of the German Embassy, Mrs. Verena Wiesner, highlighted the 60-year cooperation partnership between Germany and Ghana with its emphasis on agricultural development.
On his part, the Israeli Ambassador, H. E. Ami Mehl, noted that, “Ghana is an agrarian country and Israel is excited to share its knowledge and successful experiences, for example in irrigation, to the benefit of all Ghanaians.’’
He also emphasised that “Farming is only one part of agriculture; in addition to work in the field, farming is also a business and should be treated as a science with many innovations to be implemented for best results. Ghana has huge potential and all stakeholders should work towards making Ghana a leading food export country.”
After the official opening ceremony, participants toured the Innovation Marketplace where exhibitors highlighted their activities in the maize and rice value chains. A side attraction of the marketplace was the solar balloon dryer innovated by PensFood Bank.
The stakeholder meeting also had interactive discussions which deliberated on past GIC accomplishments and the future for the selected focus areas over the next five years.
The themes covered all the value chain activities of the selected commodities from production to processing and cross-cutting issues including seed systems, farmer business schools, conservation agriculture, rice parboiling, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) business loops, mechanisation, and standards.
Discussions throughout the workshop resulted in insightful advice and recommendations, which provided GIC invaluable knowledge from all actors across the rice and maize value chains. The workshop concluded with establishing collaboration opportunities and plans for GIC’s next steps toward the next five years of fruitful partnerships.
The programme in Ghana is implemented in cooperation with the Ghanaian partner, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). In the operational areas, GIC works together with MoFA’s national, regional and district administrations as well as sectoral umbrella organizations: Ghana Grains Council (GGC), Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) and Grains and Legumes Development Board (GLDB). It also cooperates with the University of Ghana, Legon. GIC Ghana focuses its activities on the maize and rice value chains in the Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern and Volta Regions.
The GIC programme follows the value chain approach promoting innovations along the entire value chain – “from the field to the plate”. New technologies are introduced to modernize agricultural production and make farming more efficient. Upstream and downstream enterprises are enabled to enhance their services to small farms and consumers, finally creating new jobs for Ghanaians. GIC contributes to the transformation of value chain actors, their operations and the linkages between them. Existing Farmer Training Institutes in Wenchi, Brong Ahafo Region and Adidome, Volta Region, are upgraded to serve as central training hubs and facilitate demonstration and exchange among all value chain actors.
As a provider of international cooperation services for sustainable development and international education work, GIZ is dedicated to building a future worth living around the world. GIZ has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. The diverse expertise of our federal enterprise is in demand around the globe, with the German Government, European Union institutions, the United Nations, the private sector and governments of other countries all benefiting from our services. We work with businesses, civil society actors and research institutions, fostering successful interaction between development policy and other policy fields and areas of activity. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is our main commissioning party.
Currently, GIZ promotes sustainable development in Ghana via 56 programmes and projects. Our activities cover currently three priority areas: Agriculture, Governance and Sustainable Economic Development. Additionally, our portfolio extends to other areas such as peace and security, renewable energy and climate and environment. Another focus of GIZ’s work is linking business interests with development-policy goals. Most of the programmes and projects we support in Ghana have successfully brought together national and international private companies, the public sector, and civil society groups to collaborate on development initiatives.
About the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA)
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture is mandated to ensure food and raw material security for Ghana. The key policy objectives focus on food security and emergency preparedness, market competitiveness, application of science to agriculture, environment and natural resource management and institutional coordination. The policy is geared towards promoting agricultural productivity and market access for agricultural commodities and products with competitive advantage. The major agricultural programme currently implemented by the Government of Ghana is the Planting for Food and Jobs. It seeks to increase productivity through improved extension services, access to agricultural inputs and markets. This is expected to create jobs particularly for the youth and women and improve incomes and livelihoods of rural households.