Implementation of the decentralisation policy at the ministerial level in Ghana: a case study of Ministry of Food and Agriculture

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The current decentralisation programme finally took off in 1988. By policy framework all the government decentralised departments at the district level were to operate as decentralised government agencies under the district assembly. But it was not until in 1997 that Ministry of Food and Agriculture could respond to this constitutional call for decentralisation at the ministerial level in Ghana. It must be noted that, the results of an institutional analysis are not mechanistic, where one can talk of high degree of precision. For this reason, institutional analysis is only meant to identify weaknesses and factors that inhibit the efficient performance of the institution in question. The aim of this study, “Implementation of decentralisation policy at the ministerial level in Ghana; A case study of MOFA”, is therefore, meant to identify the weaknesses and other factors that retard the smooth operations of MOFA. The objectives of this study were: -To examine the current roles under the decentralised system of MOFA; -To examine the relations among stakeholders and the institutional capacity of MOFA; -To identify possible problems associated with, or hindering the smooth implementation process of the decentralisation policy; and -To offer recommendations that would help improve the policy implementation process. A case study approach was used for the study. Three districts from Ashanti region -Adansi West, Afigya Sekyere and Sekyere West were chosen as the study areas. Questionnaires were administered to the District Directors of Agriculture, Subject Matter Specialists, District Development Officers and farmers. District Chief Executives and District Coordinating Directors in addition to some key informants were conducted between May and June. The results of the study revealed major weaknesses including poor programme planning, inadequate incentives and motivation, poor definition of roles, inadequate and untimely release of funds. The others are legal conflicts resulting in dual allegiance, lack of both political and administrative commitment and many others. Based on these findings, the report recommended the following for considerations: - Increased in farmer participation in planning; - Ithprovement in extension coverage; - Improvement in channels of communication; - Improvement in management system; - Improvement in financial and human support; - Improvement in logistical support; and - Need for conflict resolution. It is the hope of the author that, when these recommendations are adopted, MOFA would be efficient in her service delivery under the decentralisation policy.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning, 2000