09.06.2004 Business & Finance

Workshop to validate NMTIP underway

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Accra, June 9, GNA - A two-day workshop to endorse a draft National Medium-Term Investment Programme (NMTIP) to support the agricultural aspect of NEPAD opened on Wednesday in Accra with the aim of making Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) workable.

The Africa Union designed the agricultural programme to promote interventions that best respond to the widely recognized crisis situation of African agriculture while the NMTIP comes under the government's response to the July 2003 Maputo Declaration to allocate within five years, at least 10 per cent of their national budget to agriculture.

NMTIP would cover the next five years in conformity with the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture's (MOFA's) Strategic Plan.

MOFA and FAO are jointly organising the workshop, which would discuss the draft a team of consultants prepared under the supervision of the two bodies.

Participants are drawn from financial and research institutions, farmer associations, nongovernmental and Civil Society Organisations, multi and bilateral development partners and businessmen and farmers. Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Minister for Regional Co-operation and NEPAD (New Partnership for African Development) told participants that the NEPAD approach to agricultural productivity to ensure food security was a challenge to the Government, the private sector and civil society organisations to view the entire African Continent as a united entity. He said it was time for stakeholders to be committed to the process of improving agriculture as the Continent moved forward with a common destiny.

Dr Apraku said what was needed was a concerted effort in support of agricultural investment and capacity building through the promotion of good governance.

Food and Agriculture Minister, Major Courage Quashigah (rtd) said the changes in international trade regime and the growing globalisation of the international economy called for Africa to lay emphasis on agriculture development.

With increasing population growth there was the need to intensify agriculture and explore cost-effective opportunities to pursue them earnestly.

He called on the participants to be practical and forthright with the actions needed to kick-start the anticipated growth in the agricultural sector to sustainable levels that would generate the economic growth that was being desired.

Mr Anatolio Ndong Mba, FAO Representative in Ghana, commended Ghana for the demonstrated priority accorded agricultural development in the country and said such commitment would attract the attention, interest and support of development partners to consolidate the achievements of the Government in agriculture.

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