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IFAD Evaluation Committee tours Northern Ghana   
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An Evaluation Committee of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, has started an evaluation tour of the three Northern Regions to assess the progress of the IFAD funded projects.

The Committee members who are made up of representatives of Nigeria, Brazil, Norway and Canada would spend about a week in the area to acquaint themselves with the activities of IFAD.

They called on Ghanaian public officials and technocrats to design long term sustainable programmes to drive the countryís agricultural and rural development.

Mr. Shobhan Kumar Pattanayak, a member of the IFADís Executive Board and Chairman of the Evaluation committee, said there was the need for a long term sustainability plan that would prevent the collapse of various support interventions even when donors pull out.

He said the visit will also afford them the opportunity to interact with implementing agencies such as the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP), Rural Enterprises Project, the Root and Tuber Improvement and marketing Programme of the MoFA, as well as small holder beneficiary farmers and agro-business or cottage industries in the country.

He said the evaluation committee visits a member country every year to interact and share experiences that were geared towards promoting sustainable agriculture, achieving food sufficiency and improving on livelihoods and income.

Mr. Roy Ayariga, Programme Coordinator of the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP), one of the implementers of IFAD supported projects, said major huddles of farmers were being addressed through the interventions put in place by the programme.

He said agriculture in the area was now moving from subsistence levels to commercialization where all the value chain processes were receiving equal attention from land preparatory stages to production, irrigation, processing, market access and financing.

Mr. Ayariga said through these interventions, rural poverty, unemployment and hunger will become a thing of the past, stressing that more of the youth had ventured into farming since ready markets were being created.

Alhaji Gilbert Seidu Iddi, the Chief Executive of the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), said issues of insecurity especially in the northern ecological zone were as a result of the deliberate policy failures on the part of the colonial regime, while farming had not been the best because of unpredictable weather.

He said harmonization of efforts and resources were important and appealed to IFAD to continually support them in that direction, adding that there were potentials for replicating growth poles in successful agricultural activities in the north.
Source: GNA

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