Donor-funded interventions in agricultural development in Ghana - a study of projects in the Ashanti Region

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The basis of the study was on the realization that agriculture is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy and efforts to improve the economy would imply solving problems and constraints confronting effective and efficient agricultural productivity. The government having perceived the enormity of the sector’s problems and the need to solicit donor assistance has created the enabling environment through sound policies and a defined path for the sector via the vision 2020. Though the response from the donor countries in terms of assistance inflows into the sector has been very encouraging, this is not reflected in increase in productivity, with the resultant importation of food to supplement domestic production. Rural poverty also dominates. The study was therefore to assess the performance of the donor inflows into the sector, and recommend measures deemed essential in making donor assistance effective and efficient. The study revolved around a set of objectives, working hypothesis, a well defined scope of operation and unit of analysis. Adopting an Integrated Agricultural Development Programme funded by UNDP in two districts in the Ashanti region as a reference point, the various stakeholders in agricultural development, their linkages, roles, and the rationale for their involvement were analysed. The analysis was pursued the help of statistical tools after field studies and gathering of secondary data. On completion of the studies major issues that emerged were among others; • the fact that donor-funded programmes tend to be successful during the pilot phase but not sustainable leaving the beneficiary farmers worse off in terms of wealth creation; • very weak institutional capacity of MOFA which affects the implementation and sustainability of donor programmes; and • the potential of the sector to ensure food security, increase wealth creation and foreign exchange earnings for the country through sound socioeconomic policies and quality leadership. It was also clear that despite the fact that farming activities are dominated by the aged and illiterates in rural communities, it is no longer considered as a way of life but rather as a business which requires modern inputs, adequate funding and marketing avenues to maximize profit or break even. The study concluded with recommendations stressing on policy implications of the findings and the expected roles of the stakeholders to make the sector more effective and efficient so as to achieve the objectives of Ghana Vision 2020. In summary, though the agricultural sector is attracting so much donor assistance, the desired impact is not yet felt. A call is therefore being made for the government to negotiate and link up with donors to tackle the major constraints of the sector, for instance: Provision of irrigation schemes, and marketing avenues. These could go a long way to make the sector lucrative, attract the youth, increase agricultural productivity, and improve the economy.
A Thesis submitted to the School 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 Policy and Planning, 2001