A team from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) led by Mr. Ibrahim Ansu Bangura, Economic Governance Officer, has paid a working visit to the National Secretariat of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) in Accra.
The purpose of the visit was to update them on the two-year OSIWA funded project titled “Stronger Smallholder Institution for Active Participation in Policy Decision and Sustainable Agriculture in Ghana,” and assess the impact of OSIWA’s investment over the years.
According to him, conducting scope assessment for new partners, establishing new partnerships and new engagements and deepening the work OSIWA is doing with partners such as PFAG and others across the region is part of the objectives for the trip.
In a chat with staff after holding project implementation meetings with management, Mr. Bangura expressed satisfaction with the work of the organization and the efforts being made at achieving successes with little resources in respect of the implementation of the project. “We are beginning to see evidence from the Agroecology documentary presented by PFAG,” he said.
He urged the organization to position itself for more resources to implement new projects that will address farmers’ needs in deprived areas of Ghana.
He advised the organization to deepen its relationship with duty bearers in order to influence policy direction in the Agriculture sector.
Our food security portfolio is evolving. We also want to engage other partners like General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) and explore ways of forging strategic partnership alliance in going forward, he added.
He expressed concern about the situation of soil nutrient depletion and over reliance on inorganic fertilizer for production in Ghana which has negatively affected soil potency leading to low yield and food insecurity and urged Government of Ghana to consider adopting Agroecology as a critical strategy in making Ghana food secure and also help in reducing poverty among smallholder farmers. “Sustainable agriculture can propel and rapidly so, transform the country’s farming system to meet the needs of contemporary agriculture. OSIWA will continue to support CSOs and government to educate farmers on the need to embrace agroecology concept to help produce healthy food and reduce the impact of climate change for the attainment of food security,” he added.
On her part, Madam Victoria Adongo, Executive Director of PFAG, appealed to the OSIWA to resource the organization to scale up the establishment of Agroecology Hotspots in every farming community across Ghana and empower farmers to actively participate in local governance to promote sustainable agriculture.
She informed the OSIWA team on plans by PFAG and some partners to hold an international conference on Agroecology early next year.
In scoping the agriculture landscape in Ghana, OSIWA intends to find out how the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme is progressing in implementation in order to have a fair assessment of the agriculture policy landscape in Ghana.
OSIWA has had a long-term engagement in Ghana and has significantly supported a variety of Ghanaian CSO’s on agriculture and good governance.
Other members of the team are Peter Ocheikwu, Coordinator, Grants and Learning, Monitoring & Evaluation, Dominic Deme-der, Learning, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer and Andrews Ampomah, Finance Associate. PFAG was joined by Mr. Edward Kareweh, Secretary General of the Ghana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU).