Tamale, July 10, GNA - The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in the Northern Region on Thursday honoured Mr Jonathan Arnold, First Secretary at the Canadian High Commission in charge of Development, "for his immense contribution to agricultural development in the country, particularly Northern Ghana.
Mr Arnold who is leaving the country after a three-year duty tour, has been posted to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Headquarters in Ottawa, Canada.
In a speech read for him at a dinner organised in honour of Mr Arnold, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Ernest Debrah underscored the benefits Ghana had derived from the bond of friendship with Canada. Mr Debrah said the people of the North had over the years enjoyed a chunk of these benefits, which were made possible through the intervention of Mr Arnold.
"In an effort to reduce the high incidence of poverty in Northern Ghana, Mr Arnold championed the establishment of the District Capacity Building Project (DISCAP), which has impacted positively on the lives of the people in the region".
He said Mr Arnold also facilitated the implementation of the District-Wide Approach (DWAP) to community development while he supported the launch of a number of food security interventions in the region.
The Minister mentioned the Farmers Project, the Community-driven Initiatives on Food Security (CIFS) Project and a Partnership Project located in the East Mamprusi District, as some of the initiatives of Mr Arnold.
On education, Mr Debrah said through the Partnership Entrepreneurship Projects, the Canadian government had immensely supported the University for Development Studies and the Tamale Polytechnic.
Mr Sylvester Adongo, Northern Regional Director of MOFA, commended the Canadian Government for the immense financial support towards the eradication of the guinea worm disease in the country.
"Ghanaians still expect more assistance from Canada in the area of agriculture and I entreat Mr Arnold not to spare no effort in this direction so that farmers in the country will benefit".
Mr Roy Ayariga, Upper East Regional Director of MOFA, noted that the provision of water for agricultural development was key to food security in the country.
He therefore requested the Canadian government to help in the provision of water for irrigation as it had been doing in the area of potable water.
He assured the Canadian government that the Ministry would put to good use resources it had provided to enable farmers to increase food production in the regions to help eradicate poverty.
Dr Abdulai Salifu, Director of Savannah Agriculture Research Institute, said research was the core of food security and called for networking, as well as the strengthening of relations between research institutions and civil society organizations in Canada and Ghana to push agricultural development forward.
Mr Arnold was presented with a number of gifts and a certificate in appreciation of his contribution to agricultural development in the country, especially in Northern Ghana.
An accompanying citation acknowledged Mr Arnold's role in helping to improve the living standards of the people.
Mr Arnold expressed his gratitude to MOFA and CSIR for the honour done him and assured them of Canada's continued support to Ghana's agricultural development.