19 December 2013, Accra - Lessons learned from FAO’s initiative on reducing rural poverty by using cassava value chain in Northern Ghana provide opportunities for the rural households to engage in income generating activities and highlight women and youth’s roles in agriculture production.
Launched in April 2013, the FAO’ s Initiative which aims to improves the livelihoods of rural community in some of the most deprived areas in Northern Ghana deployed multidisciplinary approaches focused on building the capacity of women and youth to engage in the cassava value chain, empower rural communities to participate in policy formulation, and widen access to knowledge and technology.
Ghana has already demonstrated considerable results in poverty reduction due to strong political will. Poverty rates have declined sharply from 51.7 per cent in 1992 to 28.5 per cent in 2006. However pockets of inequality still persist particularly in the North which has been largely left behind in progress achieved in the area of agro-commercialization and the subsequent benefits in terms of employment and wealth creation.
To enhance employment opportunities for the rural poor, attention should be focused on improving marketing and distribution systems, in the agriculture supply chain because vulnerable groups, such as women, and youth have limited access to productive means, said the Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in an address read on his
At a dissemination workshop on the FAO’s initiative on reducing rural poverty in Accra to discuss key achievements and way forward, participants were of the view that changing the livelihoods situation of the rural poor, will require improvement in agricultural productivity, a stronger rural institution, access to credit and land, reduction of discrimination against women in the community and improvement of post harvest loss situation.
In a keynote address the FAO representative to Ghana Dr. Lamourdia Thiombiano observed that although steady progress has been made, how FAO takes the initiative forward depends not only on FAO’s expertise but the joint contribution made by all stakeholders in extracting lessons learned and guiding the success of future implementation for enhanced impact at community level.
He said, “FAO stands ready to expand and deepen our programme delivery through strengthened partnerships and donor support in order to increase the number of communities who can reap the benefit of our targeted interventions”
Mr Michael Pervarah, Programmes Manager of Association of Church Development Projects ACDEP said, “FAO’s activities in reducing rural poverty is visible in a sense that community members are taking through different tools to appreciate gender role in agriculture”.
“Men in beneficiary community now realize roles of women and commit to support them to be engaged in other productive activities enabling impact to the household and community in the long run,” he continued.