The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced plans to assist more than 860,000 vulnerable Ghanaians to escape poverty and hunger over the next five years through its Feed the Future Programme.
USAID Mission Director, Cheryl Anderson, told journalists in Accra yesterday the Agency also plans to reach nearly 324, 000 children and improve their nutrition to prevent stunting and child mortality.
Feed the Future is a U.S Government’s global hunger and food security initiative intended to support countries to address the root causes of poverty, hunger and under-nutrition. The $3.5 million project will leverage the strengths of multilateral institutions, civil society organisations and the private sector to assist 18 million vulnerable women, children and family members, mostly smallholder farmers, to come out of hunger and poverty.
“We will increase agricultural productivity, decrease poverty, drive economic growth and reduce under-nutrition to improve millions of lives,” Ms Anderson stated when briefing the press about the achievements of USAID over the past 50 years.
She said the Feed the Future initiative would provide capacity building support to the Ghanaian Government to realize its medium-term agriculture sector investment plan and also address the three largest policy constraints to agricultural development, namely land tenure, marine fisheries, governance and institutional performance.
The initiative, she added, would be further required to address gender issues in value chain development to ensure that private sector-led approaches support broad-based growth.
“The value chain activity will engage women’s group to advocate on behalf of women farmers, traders and processors to better voice their needs,” the USAID Mission Director explained further.
The Programme Officer of USAID, Daniel Sanchez-Bustamante, on his part said even though Feed the Future initiative would be carried out throughout the country, emphasis would be on Northern Ghana.
“The U.S is focusing its efforts in the Northern Ghana. The main objective is to increase the competitiveness of rice, maize, and soya value chain in Northern Ghana through better use of improved technologies, management and access to services on input, production and output,” he said.
There is a great potential for increased production in Northern Ghana, where large tracts of land remain under-utilized and post-harvest losses are significant. Mr Sanchez-Bustamante assured that under the Feed the Future initiative, agriculture would be transformed and modernized by creating commercial agricultural system which will realize gain in productivity.
USAID was born out of the spirit of progress, innovation and a reflection of American values. Since its start in 1961, the Agency has been a force for progress, fostering a more peaceful and secure world. For the past 50 years, USAID has been committed to the vision of empowering Ghanaians to build a prosperous nation through programmes in governance, economic growth, health, and basic education.
The Programme Officer of USAID said his outfit’s budget for Ghana this year is $155 million, assuring that the financial assistance could go up next year despite the financial crisis that hit the US economy.
Source: Daily Guide
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|