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01.05.2011 General News

CIDA invests over $67 million in food security

By GNA
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April 30, 2011
Tamale, April 30, GNA - The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), has over the last six years invested over 67 million Canadian dollars in a number of interventions aimed at enhancing decentralization, food security and the environment in the three Northern Regions of the country.

The interventions include: the District Wide Assistance Programme (DWAP), the Ghana Environment Management Project (GEMP), Food Security and Environment Facility (FSEF) and Community Initiative for Food Security (CIFS).

Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), announced this at the CIFS closure meeting in Tamale on Friday.

He said CIDA had invested over 12 million Canadian dollars into the CIFS project alone, which was aimed at improving household food security in 250 communities across 12 districts of the eastern corridor in the Northern Region by supporting community-based and district wide food security initiatives (FSIS).

The initiatives, the Minister said, were incorporated into existing local government planning and implementation processes to strengthen and institutionalize existing sub-district, district and regional mechanisms that supported community-driven rural development.

The CIFS project has been implemented over a six-year period from 2004-2010 with a one year extension in 2011.

Beneficiary districts under the project include: East Gonja, East Mamprusi , Bunkprugu/Yunyoo, Karaga, Gushegu, Saboba, Chereponi, Yendi, Zabzugu/Tatale, Nanumba North and Nanumba south.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said the CIFS had made significant contributions to the beneficiary communities and the district as far as food security and decentralization were concerned, noting that the decentralization drive of the Government had been given real meaning by the Project in a number of ways.

He said for example sub-district structures, especially area councils had been trained in the preparation of Community Action Plans (CAPs), which had formed the basis for the formulation of district medium term plans.

He said during the CIFS implementation period spanning between 2004 and 2009, 250 communities were engaged in 10 baseline studies; 250 community action plans were completed in 12 districts and 74 area level plans completed in the 12 districts.

"This is a clear case of empowering the local people to lead in the development processes of their communities", the Minister said.

The Local Government Minister said, additionally, under the CIFS Project, 366 food security initiatives and 15 district-wide initiatives were implemented in the 12 districts and this had contributed to enhancing food security in the beneficiary districts.

He said for example farm acreages had been increased from less than an acre to two and half acres per households, whilst more people were now engaged in dry season farming and the rearing of small ruminants.

There had also been improvements in transportation and reduction in head porterage and food processing.

Mr Ofoso-Ampofo said his Ministry would soon streamline project management under the CIFS Project to ensure that there was value for money and warned that he would not entertain any excuses or lapses in the projects implementation.

Nana Oduro Kwarteng, Chief Director of the MLGRD, cautioned district assemblies against the tendency of undertaking projects in their areas without consulting the people about their pressing needs.

He said it had been noted that when some assemblies got funds they tended to undertake projects, which were not in their medium term development plans and warned against the practice, adding that the MLGRD would soon publish in the dailies a league table of all the districts for people to know the non-performing ones.

GNA

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