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May 21, 2012

Ghana Wins Funds from G8 to Promote Agriculture

Ghana is expected to get some 600 million dollars from a three-billion-dollar fund for the new Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition being championed by the G8 countries.

Ghana’s share of the fund, which was announced at the G8 summit held at Camp David, Maryland at the weekend, will be a major boost to the government in the implementation of the Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP). It is expected to enhance agriculture production and alleviate over 1.3 million Ghanaians out of poverty.

The G8 leaders, at the meeting, approved the five-year METASIP and agreed to advance their contributions. Out of the amount for Ghana, the USA is expected to provide 225 million dollars, while Canada, France and Germany will be contributing 71 million dollars, 76 million dollars and 69 million dollars respectively.

Japan will provide 34 million dollars, with Russia making available 9 million dollars, and the United Kingdom and the European Union providing 25 million and 37 million dollars respectively.

Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister for Food and Agriculture, giving details of funding plan and the outcome of the summit, told journalists that the government was delighted about the gains from the summit.

“We are making good progress,” he said, and lauded the objective of the Alliance which, he said, “government fully subscribes to”. Apart from the funding from G8 countries, he indicated that some 15 private international firms had declared their intention to sign on the implementation of the Alliance’s plan in Ghana, by investing in the agricultural sector.

They include Amarjaro Trading Limited, Rabobank, Unilever, Yara International, AGCO, World Cocoa Foundation, SABmiller, Africa Cashew Initiative Partners, AgriServ, Ecobank Group, Finatrade Group, Ghana Nuts, Premium Foods and Savanna Farmers Marketing Company.

Under the Alliance, he said Ghana, like the other beneficiary countries in Africa, would partner with the G8 countries to generate greater private investment in agriculture development and scale up innovation towards achieving sustainable food security and poverty reduction in Africa.

Touching on President Atta Mills’ participation in the summit, he said the G8 leaders endorsed Ghana’s economic and democratic credentials and lauded President Mill’s vision for the agriculture sector.

Source: The Ghanaian Times