$125m Canadian Govt Support For Agric Sector

Louise Paris


CANADA Has hinted of a partnership with Government to modernise the Ghana’s agriculture sector particularly in the area of rehabilitation, retooling and infrastructure upgrading of all the five colleges of agriculture in the country.

Louise Paris, Deputy Director of Operations at the Canadian High Commission in Ghana, who disclosed this, said this would be made possible, courtesy to a 125 million Canadian dollar grant from the Canadian Government.

She said all the five colleges would also benefit from a revised curriculum that would support market-oriented, gender sensitive and environmentally sustainable teaching and learning.

She was speaking at a ceremony to officially hand over refurbished and retooled science and computer laboratories to the Ohawu Agriculture College at Ohawu in the Ketu North Municipality of the Volta Region.

According to her, the projects in all five colleges of agriculture was part of the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme implemented by the Technical Education Development for Modernised Agriculture in Ghana (TEDMAG) and valued at 15 million Canadian dollars.

The project was funded by Global Affairs Canada with support from the University of Missouri, USA and the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Ms. Paris said the final outcome of the project was to improve the capacity of agriculture agents in Ghana to provide market-oriented, gender- sensitive and environmentally sustainable services to farmers.  It also aimed at equipping students at the various agriculture colleges with practical agri-business, farm management, commodity value chain management skills and environmentally friendly strategies.

“Through the MAG programme, Canada is directly providing  CAD $125 million to the government of Ghana to help modernise the agriculture sector which has significant potential for reducing poverty and inequality in Ghana this funding will be channeled through government systems with district and regional departments of agriculture as well as the national directorate of MOFA, the CSIR and the Agriculture Colleges all receiving funds to implement their approved activities and to deliver on their respective mandates,” Paris stated.

She said as part of the MAG programme and other initiatives, the two countries had over the past five years been working together to advance gender equality.

“Women in Ghana are demonstrating greater empowerment – they have higher levels of financial autonomy allowing them to purchase some land, mould some blocks and put up their own buildings- to purchase rudimentary agro-processing machines, to expand their agro-processing activities and to pay school fees for their children,” she said.

Lawoete Tettey, Director of Human Resource and Development at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), lauded the initiative saying it was a game changer as far as agriculture programming and development in the country was concerned.

He said the ministry was looking forward to upgrading the level of education and exposure students would gain from the new infrastructure and curriculum with the hope that it would improve their learning outcomes.