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21.05.2012 Business & Finance

Additional $50m For Ghana's Agric Sector

By Daily Guide
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The World Bank has approved US$50 million for the government of Ghana in the form of budget support for the implementation of the country's Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan, METASIP.

The programme, known as the Agricultural Development Policy Operation http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2012/04/24/000350881_20120424103018/Rendered/PDF/655400PGD0P1220osed0402401200SIMULT.pdf (AgDPO), supports important policy and institutional reforms that will enhance the development and adoption of agricultural technology such as improved seeds and fertilizer.

A key aspect of the program is smallholder commercialization and the development of a socially inclusive out-grower model that will attract increased private investment in the sector. The programme also supports accelerated irrigation development and improved governance of the fisheries sector.

A key result of this facility, which is the second in a series, will be increased production and productivity through improved crop yields. This will enhance Ghana's competitiveness in the sector, expand export agriculture and local food production while increasing farmer incomes.

According to Jan Nijhoff, agricultural economist, based in the World Banks Ghana Office, over the past few years, the World Bank has been scaling up its support to Ghana's agricultural sector with strategic investments that ensure that the sector continues to grow and contributes to job creation and food security in Ghana.  In doing so, the sector is being increasingly modernized and commercialized. It is our expectation that these investments will help leverage additional investment from the private sector and bring thousands of small-holder farmers into commercial value-chains.

The World Bank's current portfolio in Ghana consists of 31 IDA-financed projects with a net commitment of approximately US$2 billion. The International Development Association (IDA) is the part of the World Bank that helps the world's poorest countries. Established in 1960, IDA reduces poverty by providing interest-free credits and grants that boost economic growth, and improve peoples living conditions.

IDA credits are zero interest and repaid over 25 to 40 years, including a 5 to 10-year grace period.

 From the business desk

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