Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) operating mainly in the agricultural sector on Thursday called for deeper levels of engagement with government on the Medium Term Agricultural Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) II.
The CSOs argued that in order to make the revision and implementation of METASIP nationally driven and as much as participatory as possible, it was extremely important that space was created for their participation
They expressed these views at a forum organized by Hunger Alliance of Ghana, a non governmental organization advocating against malnutrition.
The forum also attracted representatives of the United Nations Agencies, United States Agency for International Development, the Ministries of Food and Agriculture, Finance, Health and the National Development Planning Commission.
Nana Ayim Poakwa, Coordinator of Hunger Alliance of Ghana, expressed concerns on the low participation and engagement of CSOs who more or less drive the implementation of such a policy
The Medium Term Agricultural Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) is a medium term investment plan of the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy, aimed at growing the agric sector by at least 6 per cent annually.
It is the main national blueprint for agriculture development and it is consistent with the ECOWAS agriculture policy.
Nana Ayim said the METASIP aims at providing a framework and institutional basis for a long term engagement and supplementary financing for improving investments in the private sector led pro poor agricultural value chain development.
He said there was the need to advocate for increased volume and quality of investment of public funding through the national budget to ensure speedy and smooth implementation of the METASIP.
The METASIP which guided the agriculture sector between 2011 and 2014 is being revised into METASIP II with an expected improved content and involvement of CSOs.
Dr Yakubu Alhassan, Deputy Minister in charge of crops at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said the METASIP anticipated activities of the private sector and civil society and took into account ongoing projects.
He urged CSOs to provide ideas, evidence and expertise and also participate in dialogue and consultations to determine priorities.
“Implementation is viewed as a collective effort of all stakeholders and we must ensure mutual accountability,” he said.