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03.06.2005 Regional News

Consultative meeting of GPRS ends in Ho


Ho, June 3, GNA- Mr Mawutor Goh, acting Ho Municipal Chief Executive, has observed that, the first phase of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS 1), did not achieve some of its set objectives because of lack of emphasis on credit to promote small and medium scale agriculture.

He said stakeholders in agricultural production were most often excluded in programmes meant to raise production. Mr Goh was addressing a consultative meeting on the second phase of the Strategy (GPRS 2) in Ho on Thursday.

Mr Ken Owusu, a Consultant with the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), noted that public evaluation of GPRS 1 indicated reservations about lack of consultation in fashioning out the strategy. He said the current consultations which aimed at reflecting the inputs of all segments of society would include updated plans of GPRS 1 in GPRS 2, as well as the medium term plans for the Ministries, Departments and Agencies and Civil Society Organizations.

He said for the country to attain the middle-income status by 2015, the GPRS envisaged a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 6.02 per cent annually with population growth kept within 2.6 per cent.

Mr Owusu said the GPRS 2 would focus on six per cent annual growth in the agricultural sector, to lead the process towards tackling poverty.

The sector currently contributes 36 contributes per cent to the Gross Domestic Product.

Mr Owusu said the searchlight would be on crops, livestock and fisheries rather than cocoa, which even though accounted for the greatest growth of the sector, yet employs a small percentage of people and was vulnerable to external shocks.

Ms Alice Amekudzi, also a Consultant with the NDPC said the GPRS 2 sought to strengthen governance and the security institutions as basis for laying a strong foundation for development.

She said another area of attention is to increase the pace and quantum of women's involvement in governance.

The participants bemoaned the poor linkage between development programmes at the macro level and implementation processes at the micro stages.

They said as a result, many programmes touted at national forums as plausible normally faced serious implementation problems at the district levels.

The meeting was organized by the NDPC for heads of decentralized organizations in the Volta Region and other public sector organizations to seek opinions to polish up the GPRS 2 that would span 2006 and 2009.