A study of the planning processess and procedures in the agricultural sector - case study of the Asunafo District

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One of the challenges of decentralised planning, as embodied in the Local Government Act, (Act 462), is to develop a planning process that is relevant and responsive to the needs and aspirations of local people where planning takes place. To give meaning to these legislative provisions, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, has decentralised its administrative set up by the creation of: • Ten Regional Agricultural Development Units (RADUs) headed by a Regional Director and accountable to the Regional Co-ordinating Council; and • 110 District Agricultural Development Units (DADUs), headed by a District Director and accountable to the District Assemblies. In addition, staffs have been trained to provide the required orientation for decentralised planning and administration. In spite of these provisions, evidence gathered from the agricultural sector in the Asunafo District suggests that the planning processes mainly respond to standards set up by the ministry’s headquarters. Taking Asunafo District as a focus of analysis, the agricultural planning process and procedures as well as how planning can be improved to promote agricultural development in the district were studied. More specifically, the objectives of the study were to: 1. Study current planning processes and procedures adopted by the Department of Food and Agriculture in the Asunafo District; 2. Identify weaknesses in the planning processes and procedures; 3. Identify opportunities for improved planning; and 4. Make proposals for improved planning for agricultural development in the Asunafo District. The main technique of data collection was through semi-structured interviews. Results from a workshop organised, as part of the study at the district as well as secondary sources of information (both published and unpublished) were analysed and synthesised. The study revealed that the agricultural planning process, in the Asunafo District, is weak. Decisions are mainly generated from the regional and national levels hence local participation in the planning process is limited within MoFA. However, opportunities for improved planning exist. This will require an institutional analysis to identify tasks, skills and resource gaps to formulate appropriate strategies in response to existing opportunities. The recommendations, among others, included the adoption and application of basic planning tools to improve local level planning. The planning tools include: • Participatory Analysis; • Problem Tree Analysis; • Objective Tree Analysis; • The Logical Framework Method; and • Participatory Impact Monitoring and Evaluation. The roles of the District Director, GTZ Project Team Leader and the Regional Director have been emphasised in the recommendations in terms of ensuring that: • staff are sufficiently trained; • an institutional analysis is carried out; and • Planning tools recommended are adopted for improved planning.
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 degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 2000