Women in Agriculture


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Policy Framework

The policy on agriculture is encapsulated among various government agencies such as the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), the Lands Commission, the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).


The Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) II, 2014-2017, is the fifth in the series of medium-term national development policy frameworks prepared over the past two decades. To ensure continuity in overall national development,  the GSGDA II  builds on the predecessor framework, GSGDA I (2010-2013), drawing lessons from its successes and challenges to enhance overall development management and the transformation agenda that the programme represents.


The GSGDA 2011 – 2013 sought to improve the wellbeing of Ghana’s poor, most of which reside in rural areas and are dependent on agriculture for their primary livelihoods. Priority sectors for the US$24 billion of proposed investments envisaged in the GSGDA are infrastructure (with 54 percent of planned expenditures, of which 15 percent is oil and gas development), health and education (25 percent) and enhanced competitiveness of the private sector (8 percent). Modernizing agriculture attracts 4 percent of investment.


Ghana’s agriculture sector strategy is known as FASDEP II (2010 – 2015) and is organized around six priority themes. These are: (1) Food Security and Emergency Preparedness; (2) Increased Growth in Incomes; (3) Increased Competitiveness and Enhanced Integration into Domestic and International Markets; (4) Sustainable Management of Land and Environment; (5) Science and Technology Applied in Food and Agriculture Development; and (6) Improved Institutional Coordination. FASDEP’s policy principles include a pro-poor focus, attention to regional balance and gender inclusion (in an effort to promote greater gender equality), and consideration of environmental and social sustainability.


The required investment framework to implement FASDEP II is articulated in the Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) – and constitutes the national agriculture investment plan under the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). The emphasis of these initiatives is placed on enhancing productivity of all operators along commodity value chains as well as providing smallholder farmers with the tools and skills necessary for their commercial transformation and to integrate themselves into value chains.


Other policies also have a major bearing on outcomes in the agriculture sector. Of particular importance is the Second Private Sector Development Strategy (PSDS II). The PSDS II aimed at increasing by 20 percent, in real terms, the income of rural people in general and particularly in the poorer Northern and Central areas through more productive agriculture. The strategy highlights increasing the productivity of agriculture and the efficiency of agricultural value chains by supporting public and private initiatives as a sub-component of one of the five main outputs.


In 2011, Ghana launched the Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) policy with the objective of attracting private sector investments and expertise into the provision and management of socioeconomic infrastructure. This is to create space for private sector participation in the provision of infrastructure and basic services. The policy will enable the country harness private efficiency in assets creation, maintenance and service delivery. The policy also creates opportunity for the private sector to bring in innovation and technical improvements.


In addition, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is also implementing a US$45.0m World Bank funded Project to promote PPPs. This project seeks to increase infrastructure service levels and quality through supporting private sector participation through a PPP financing model.


Addressing Challenges

The Government of Ghana has identified the most critical challenges facing private-sector agribusiness and has developed strategies and programs to address them. Such programs are currently in place to address the private sector’s concerns regarding (1) the lack of energy, transport, and agricultural infrastructure; (2) poor agronomic practices among farmers; (3) land availability; (4) local access to financing; and (5) complexity of the investment and operating environment. Government responses to these challenges are summarized below.

Focus Area Description of Initiatives
Developing Energy, Transport, and Agricultural Infrastructure
Energy Infrastructure Through the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Project, gas processing plant is being built to provide a reliable supply of gas to operate thermal the various power plants.
Transport Infrastructure $274 million has been used to develop highways, feeder roads and trunks roads through a GoG-MiDA partnership; the Accra-Tema sub-urban railway and the Western railway line are being rehabilitated; a Takoradi Port Expansion project is being.
Agricultural Infrastructure

(ii) GCAP has committed $90.8 million to expanding irrigation to 7,000 hectares in the Accra Plains while a portion of the $64.3 million investment in the SADA zone is being used for storage infrastructure;

(ii) contracts have been awarded to develop two dams at Ave-Afiadenyegba and Dawa; (iii) AFD and the GoG have allocated $36.1 million to develop irrigation in the Afram Plains

(iv) The Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) has also been set up to support various infrastructure projects.

Improving Farmers’ Agronomic Practices
Access to Seeds

(i) New seed laws permit private investors to import certified seed through the appropriate regulations;

(ii) MoFA is working with the IFDC to strengthen Ghana’s agro-input dealer network;

(iii) Future seed subsidies are being considered and formulated

Fertilizer Subsidies The GoG has spent more than $150 million on fertilizer subsidies since 2008, increasing participating farmers’ yields by an average of 131%
Mechanization Services At least 84 Agricultural Mechanization Service Centers have been established with financial support from the GoG to serve 194 farmers on 786 acres
Smallholder Aggregation Under the Block Farms Program, at least 14,400 farmers have been aggregated on blocks of ~50 acres with 25 farmers each
Improving Land Acquisition and Tenure Processes
Land Administration Project II LAP II is a 15-20 year project that is being undertaken in partnership with the World Bank to establish land policy and institutional reforms that lay a foundation for a sustainable, decentralized land administration system
Land Bank Under GCAP, a Land Bank is being established to assist investors in identifying, acquiring, and registering land
Improving Local Access to Financing
Provision of Concessionary Finance The GoG has established financial institutions with a mandate to provide concessionary finance to agriculture specifically, or small-medium enterprises in general: Ghana Export and Import Bank(EXIM); Venture Capital Trust Fund and the Out-Grower Value Chain Fund
Financial Incentives Additional incentives include tax holidays, duty exemptions on capital goods and accelerated depreciation for plants and machinery
Reducing Complexity in the Investment and Operating Environment
Enabling Environment GCAP is committing funds to improve the enabling environment for agriculture investment, including strengthening the capacity of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre