Increase annual budgetary allocation of MOFA – CSOs advocate

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The Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition, a civil society organisation has advocated an increase in the annual budget allocation of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to strengthen its capability of ensuring national food security.

It observed that though the government is making frantic efforts to revamp the agriculture sector to up is potential as a major driver of the socio-economic development, MOFA’s the sector ministry’s annual budget that ranged between 0.94 per cent and 1.77 percent of the total national budget estimate, is woefully inadequate.

Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, the National Coordinator of the Coalition, made the call during an interactive meeting with civil society organizations, stakeholders in the agriculture sector and some media practitioners at Abesim in the Sunyani Municipality.

He explained that the higher percentage of the budgetary allocation ought to be translated into increased capacity and support for MOFA directorates at the community level in the various Municipal and District Assemblies for the Ministry to step up coordination and promotion of agribusiness in the country.

Citing a World Bank report in 2013, he said agribusiness could play a critical role in jump-starting economic transformation through the development of agro-based industries that bring much-needed jobs and incomes.

The National coordinator said successful agribusiness investments in turn would stimulate agricultural growth through the provision of new markets and the development of a vibrant input supply sector.

Mr Akalbila indicated that attention ought to be paid to MOFA especially in the area of policy direction in making the vision increasingly a reality in the country’s agricultural sector.

Within the budgetary constraints, however, the national coordinator suggested MOFA must adopt innovative ways of implementing key policies and activities such as facilitating research and coordinating all activities of agriculture as well as ensuring that extension advice reached more small scale farmers.

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