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01.09.2020 Press Statement

An Assessment Of NPP’s Manifesto On Climate Change Commitment And Food Security

By Centre for Climate Change & Food security
An Assessment Of NPP’s Manifesto On Climate Change Commitment And Food Security
LISTEN SEP 1, 2020

The Centre for Climate Change and Food Security (CCCFS) would like to put out our opinion per our review of NPP’s manifesto on the areas of climate change and food security in line with our organisation’s vision and mission.

1. Background

Climate change issues have gained global traction because of the impact climate change has on almost every facet of human existence. To address the issue, there have many global accords including the famous Paris accord, that seek to galvanise governmental commitments from various countries in addressing the problem.

Food security on the other hand, which relates to climate change as an either a positive or negative outcome, continue to be a global agenda because some 690 million people representing 8.9% of the world’s population, are hungry. SDG 2 envisions eradication of hunger by 2030.

Ghana is a signatory to almost all the international accords, declarations, treaties etc on these two interlinked issues. That is why, academics and civil society must continuously benchmark government’s performance or commitments to the realisation of these international commitments. The manifesto, having become an integral part of Ghana’s politics, gives an insight on the aspirations of future governments, making it an important document for assessing potential governments. This is exactly what we seek to do with this piece of work.

2. General Observations/Comments

  1. We note, that, the manifesto is cast in a two-pronged approach. The first part of the manifesto highlights government’s achievements viz a viz, its 2016 manifesto while the second part focuses on the party’s intentions for Ghana should it win the 2020 elections.
  2. We acknowledge that, in the 2016 manifesto, government made a specific promise on climate change with the view of accessing dedicated global funds for addressing climate change issues. What government did in respect of this promise, was to engage in a swap agreement with Switzerland and South Korea for the supply of solar panel and stove for carbon credits. Both the promise and the delivery, in our respectful view, are too scanty when compared with the enormity of the climate change challenge.
  3. We commend government for other non-climate-change-intended programmes which it undertook in fulfilment of its manifesto pledges in 2016, which nonetheless, had/have significant mitigation impacts on climate change. These include the combat against illegal mining (though not very successful), youth in afforestation programme, setting up of the sanitation ministry (little has been achieved though), passage of law to ban import of 10-year-old vehicles, etc. Also, The One Village One Dam project, which has not been largely successful, is a good initiative for mitigating climate change and boosting agriculture which ultimately, improves our food security situation.
  4. On food security, the PFJ and One Constituency One Warehouse programmes are commendable. These two programmes have been largely successful. Government has to a greater extent, achieved its promise on food security as evidenced in Ghana’s leap from 79th to 59th position in the Global Food Security Index in 2018.
  5. Finally, we take cognisance of the fact that, some of the projects initiated under bullets 3 & 4 are still ongoing. These projects must be oriented to have climate change undertones so as to guide their focus to integrate climate change combat seminally, in them.

This assessment looks exclusively at what NPP intends to do should it win the next election as presented in their manifesto. We, therefore, delink completely, all ongoing projects that have implicit or explicit implications for climate change combat and food security from this assessment. The focus here is on post-2020 events.

Our assessment set out to answer the following questions using SMART as the broad measurement instrument –

  1. Are there specific promises on climate change combat and food security?
  2. Are there general promises that are not specific but have unintended effects on climate change combat and food security?
  3. If there are any such promises in respect of questions a & b above, are they realistic and achievable?

3. Scoring

We intend to answer questions a & b quantitatively through simple counting and to qualitatively answer question 3 using the SMART instrument. Each letter in the measurement instrument, SMART, is assigned a 20% score, altogether making 100%. Each promise is assessed using this criterion and then, a cumulative average is extracted for all promises.

4. Climate Change

Question: Are there specific promises on climate change combat?

Our findings/comments:

  • We found that there is no mention at all of the term ‘climate change’. The implication of this, is that there are no specific promises on climate change mitigation. This frontally offends the tenets of the Paris accord which enjoins countries to take steps aimed at combating climate change.

Question: Are there general promises that are not specific but have unintended effects on climate change?

Our findings/comments:

  • Disappointingly, we did not find any general promises that combat climate change. In fact, the manifesto is surprisingly, silent on issues of environment, sanitation, and all other activities that cumulatively combat climate change. This again offends the tenets of the Paris accord.

Question: If there are any such promises in respect of questions a & b above, are they realistic and achievable using our SMART instrument?

Our findings/comments:

  • Since the answers to the two questions above are all negative, question 3 is not applicable.

Verdict: NPP manifesto scores 0% on the combat against climate change.

5. Agriculture and Food Security

Some 2% of Ghanaians representing 2 million in nominal terms, are estimated to be hungry. Ghana as a signatory to the SDGs, should be working to eradicate hunger in its entirety by 2030. The possibility of achieving this, will be based on government’s agriculture programmes.

Question: Are there specific promises on food security?

Our findings/comments:

  • The expression ‘food security’, appears only once. Under Agriculture Transformation, one of the broad thematic areas through which NPP intends to achieve its Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, the manifesto states “We will continue our investments to strengthen our food security….”. It is commendable that there is a deliberate attempt to protect the gains made – and to achieve more – in food security. But, since this is a broad statement whose effectuation depends on the promises made under agriculture, we will not count it quantitatively as a promise.

Question: Are there general promises that are not specific but have unintended effects on food security?

Our findings/comments:

  • All the promises made under agriculture can be said to have direct implications on food security if well implemented. In total, we counted 10 such promises. 2 out of the 10, had subsidiary promises totalling 9, which constitute breakdown of how to achieve those 2 broad promises.
  • We are happy that agriculture which employs almost 60% of Ghana’s population, is selected as a broad theme and 10 promises made under it to actualise the Ghana Beyond Aid rhetoric. In total, there are 11 promises

Question: If there are any such promises in respect of questions a & b above, are they realistic and achievable using our SMART instrument?

Our findings/comments:

  • This question applies since we have identified promises under questions a & b and so we do an in-depth analysis using our scale.
  • For easy referencing for readers, we reproduce the entire promises contained on page 153 of the NPP’s manifesto here:

“We will accelerate:

  • our efforts in modernising agriculture along the entire value chain, including expanding our Agricultural Mechanisation Centres
  • support for farmers through:
  • increased supply of inputs
  • enhanced involvement of farm extension officers to work with farmers and breeders
  • increased disease control
  • improved warehousing and post-harvest logistics, and
  • tighter linkages with industry mainly through 1D1F
  • diversification of export-oriented, large scale agricultural enterprises in cocoa, palm oil, legumes, cereals, rice and horticulture, poultry and meat for regional markets
  • large-scale private sector investment in processing, packaging and export of agricultural produce
  • promotion of import substitution, with special focus on rice, sugar and poultry by
  • scaling up supply of improved seeds and fertilisers to farmers
  • promoting consumption of locally produced rice, sugar and poultry
  • supporting the private sector under the Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) policy with subsidised day-old chicks, feed, and vaccines
  • supporting soya bean production for the production of poultry feed
  • enhancement of small ruminant production with supply of improved breeds of sheep and goats
  • the successful implementation of the Greenhouse Village concept, focusing especially on the youth
  • activities under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) with the rapid growth of the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority (GTCDA)
  • the development of the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam, and
  • access to finance through subscription to the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing Scheme for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) programme to finance and de-risk private sector investments in farming and other agricultural value-chain activities.”

The promises have been assigned numbers in a descending order where 1 represents the first promise and so on, for easy identification and counting.

This table gives a breakdown of the scores we assigned to each promise.

PROMISES S M A R T TOTAL (%)
1 10 10 10 20 0 50
2 20 15 20 20 0 75
3 5 15 20 20 0 60
4 5 5 20 20 0 50
5 20 15 20 20 0 75
6 20 10 20 20 0 70
7 5 15 20 20 0 60
8 5 5 15 20 0 45
9 20 20 20 20 0 80
10 20 5 20 20 0 65
AVERAGE SCORE 63

Notes

  • ‘S’ requires a promise or vision to be specific. The elements of specificity include – but not limited to – unambiguous project title, how you intend to execute the project, pointed direction of end results, and KPIs. We realised that most of the promises lacked one or more of these essential elements.
  • ‘M’ requires the promise to be measurable. The elements of measurability include – but not limited to – deadlines, quantities, quality, costs, etc. We realised that most of the promises lacked one or more of these essential elements.
  • ‘A’ requires the promise to be attainable. The elements of attainability include – but not limited to – achievability of the promise taking expertise, time, costs, scope, resources, etc into cognisance. We realised that a few of the promises lacked one or more of these essential elements.
  • ‘R’ requires the promise to be relevant. The elements of relevance include – but not limited to – importance, impact, etc of the promise. We realised that almost all promises had these essential elements.
  • ‘T’ requires the promise to be time-oriented or time-bound. All the promises in the manifesto, lacked the ‘T’ element as none of the promises, was assigned timelines. Though we know governments hold office for a period of 4 years, it would be good if the manifesto gave at least, an estimated time of start and completion of programmes/projects outlined.

Verdict: NPP manifesto scores 63% on agriculture and food security.

Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Using the three-dimensional scale for assessing food security, i.e., affordability, quantity, and quality, we note, that, the promises largely promote quantity but are very silent on affordability and quality. There is just a slight hint on quality arising from the aspect that deals with disease control but that pales into insignificance when benchmarked against the gamut of issues that make up quality.
  • On affordability, it is not automatic that, increase in food quantity may necessarily plummet food prices though it is the rational outcome from the interplay between the forces of demand and supply. This is because, while some parts of Ghana may experience glut of food, other parts may face dearth of food – underscoring an uneven food distribution system over the years. So, while areas that experience glut of food may have food prices plummeting, those that experience dearth, may have increments in prices. Also, in an unregulated market such as ours, the potential of hoarding by sellers in order to instigate shortages for a future exorbitant pricing, exists which will then defeat the cardinal element of affordability. Our recommendation therefore, is that, potential governments must seek to couch deliberate policies to deal with our irregular food distribution system and the exploitative market system in order to achieve affordability in the face of abundance.
  • On quality, this is achieved through a careful production technique that reduces residues of chemicals in food, producing highly nutritious food, and food that generally fits the consumer expectations. In this regard, we do not find any of the promises attempting to address the issue of quality. It is our recommendation that, future governments, should turn their eyes on organic agriculture as an efficient alternative method of producing quality food while at the same time, preserving the environment. Additionally, standard-setting for all food products must be taken seriously as we have come to know how some producers disregard basic hygiene in the cause of production. Limits for agrochemical use by farmers should be set to ensure food safety.
  • The lack of alacrity to combat climate change is repulsive. We ask the media and civil society to take this matter seriously and bring it to the front burner of national discourse as our very existence, is threatened by this canker.

Sulemana Issifu

Director of Research, Centre for Climate Change and Food Security

Email: [email protected]

Zoom: [email protected]

Skype: issifusulemana

Phone: +491629352295

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