The British Department for International Development (DFID), with support from the government of Ghana and other development partners, has decided to adopt the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) module for implementation in northern Ghana to help lift the people of the area out of extreme poverty.
The process towards the implementation is likely to be completed before the end of this year.
Ashanti Regional Minister, Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, made this known in Kumasi at the opening of an evaluation workshop of the Bonsaaso MVP.
Funded by the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Millennium Promise, the MVP, which is a bottom-up comprehensive and integrated rural development initiative, provides an innovative model for helping rural African communities to extricate themselves from extreme poverty.
It further seeks to provide robust scientific guidelines on how to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in extremely poor rural settings in different agro-ecological zones of Africa and around the globe.
In Ghana, the MVP is located in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region where, since 2006, the over 30,000 people in the cluster of villages have benefited from various programmes and projects in the areas of health, agriculture, education, water and sanitation, among others.
Dr Agyeman-Mensah noted the remarkable progress made by the Bonsaaso MVP and commended all the players who had worked hard in that regard.
He was particularly impressed by the strides made in diversifying crops and the increase in crop yields by farmers in the project area through the adoption of appropriate technology and other support services from the project management.
The regional minister said the transformation that had taken place in the project area was consistent with the government’s development agenda.
He appealed to the DFID to consider providing some support for the MVP in the Ashanti Region to enable the project to be extended to other villages in the Amansie West District.
The Team Leader of the Bonsaaso MVP, Dr Joseph Homiah Mensah, mentioned the various achievements chalked up under the project and said it was a commitment by all the players to bring the best to the people of the area.
Regarding school infrastructure, for instance, he said the construction of kitchens in all 28 primary schools in the cluster of communities for the school feeding programme was about 90 per cent complete, while school enrolment had increased by over 40 per cent since 2006.
The Director of the MDG Centre in West Africa, Dr Amadou Niang, was confident that the evaluation workshop would help push the project to advance its progress.