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29.12.2004 General News

Canadian High Commissioner calls on Minister

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Accra, Dec. 29, GNA - The in-coming Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. Donald Bobiash has indicated that Canada had quadrupled aid to Ghana in the last three years and that she intends to provide 100 million dollars over the next five years to boost Ghana's agriculture sector.

He said Ghana had the potential to develop its agriculture, considering its vast natural resources and her population. This was contained in statement issued in Accra on Wednesday by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to highlight the High Commissioners' courtesy call on the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd) at his office.

Mr. Bobiash noted that the challenge facing the country's agriculture was how to modernize it and to tap that potential, there was the need for markets, technology development and appropriate policy. He said Canada would establish a Canada/Ghana Research Council to provide linkage between researchers in both countries to share knowledge and pursue opportunities for the commercialisation of research findings. Major Quashigah commended Canada for the immense support she had provided to Ghana, particularly the agricultural sector.

He indicated that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) had become the largest bilateral donor to the agricultural sector with over thirteen projects currently being implemented.

The major project being supported by CIDA is the Food and Agricultural Budgetary Support (FABS) which, is being implemented over a five-year period.

The statement said the Minister expressed his happiness about the FABS, which for the first time, had seen a development partner providing untied funds to the Ministry to implement its Agricultural Development Policy and Programmes aimed at modernizing agriculture.

Major Quashigah, the statement said, stressed the need to strengthen research and policy development and reforms to provide the necessary boost to agriculture development.

The Minister expressed gratitude to the High Commissioner for the call and hoped that the substantial investments made in the agricultural sector would make the necessary impact on the economy.

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