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Feb 16, 2015

President Mahama In Rome To Open 38th IFAD Governing Council Meeting In Rome Today

President John Mahama, today, Monday, February 16 is opening the 38th session of the Governing Council of the International fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD in Rome, Italy.

IFAD is an Agency of the United Nations with a mandate to ensure food security by working with poor rural populations in developing countries, to go into farming.

IFAD has supported about seventeen Projects and Program in Ghana with more than Two hundred Million dollars in Loans and grants. Agriculture remains the mainstay of Ghana's economy and government has introduced a number of incentives to make it attractive to the youth.

The International Fund for Agriculture Development IFAD, has since 1977 championed rural transformation by empowering vulnerable rural households to access economic opportunities. Every year the decision making body of IFAD, which is the Governing Council meet with world leaders to take decisions for global development?

This year, the meeting will focus on 'rural transformation as a key to sustainable development". Leadership of IFAD hold the view that to enable small holder farmers to produce more to meet the growing demand for food, create employment and alleviate extreme poverty, Heads of states must redirect their policies, make investment opportunities more inclusive and draw up people centred policies and program as far as Agriculture is concerned.

Statistics show that GDP growth due to Agriculture is five times more effective in reducing poverty than growth in any other sector of the economy.

Small holder farms are said to make up 80 percent of all farms in Sub-Saharan Africa. With the stakes so high, decision makers need to take bolder actions in encouraging more people to go into Agriculture particularly those in the rural areas. Research has also shown that about five hundred million small holder farms have the potential to produce food for the growing global markets and to feed the world. This can only come into fruition with the appropriate enabling environment.

President Mahama, a farmer himself will deliver the key note address at the 38th session of the IFAD Governing Council. He will be joined by the King of Tonga, His Majesty Tupou and the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance Pier Carlo Pardoan.

President Mahama, will be expected to speak on Ghana's key policies on Agriculture which includes modernising Agriculture with the use of technology.

Ghana has achieved the MDG of reducing hunger and malnutrition ahead of the 2015 deadline. Government has also distributed tractors and supplied improved seedlings to farmers.

Inspite of these, there is still room for improvement as farmer access to credit facilities to expand still hang in limbo. – GBC