Topic: Procurement and budget tracking in agriculture sector
Ghana’s agriculture sector is a key economic sector that employs over 50% of the working population, including a large proportion of the poorest and most vulnerable. In 2018, the sector contributed 19.7% to the gross domestic product (GDP) and about 30% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. Above all, Government of Ghana (GoG) has identified agriculture development as holding the key to national development through its new “Investing for Food and Jobs (2018-2021)” (IFJ) sector strategy.
In 2006, Ghana committed itself, under the Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for an African Green Revolution to increase fertilizer use among farmers from 8kg/ha to 50 kg/ha by 2015.The Ghana Fertilizer Subsidy Program (GFSP) objectives were to: i) increase farmers’ accessibility to inputs (fertilizer and seed); ii) help farmers increase their rate of application as means of increasing crop productivity and production; and iii) improve incomes of farmers. However, since its beginning, the motivation for the FSP has frequently shifted from increasing productivity as an urgent response to price spikes to providing a social safety net for the poor, to demonstrating the benefits of fertilizer to farmers. The Subsidy Program was intended as a temporary program, but it has instead become a perennial component of Ghana’s agricultural budget.
In 2019, the Ghanaian Parliament expressed its concern that challenges linked to contracting, procurement and distribution of agricultural subsidies needed to be addressed to help free resources for the agriculture sector’s development and growth. Civil society organisations also agree that changes are required to improve the efficiency of the subsidy system, for instance to avoid smuggling and leakages.
The workshop aims to bring together the relevant key stakeholders, including public, private and civil society organizations of the agriculture sector, to review the performance of Ghana’s input subsidy program and make suggestions to improve transparency, efficiency and effectiveness. Together they will work towards increasing awareness and understanding of the policy issues, helping create a neutral platform for stakeholder dialoguing, and providing ideas and approaches to influence sector policy decision-making and implementation.
The expected impacts of this workshop include:
- Increasing awareness of agriculture stakeholders on issues affecting the efficiency and transparency of public subsidies;
- Encouraging open discussions on how to address these issues;
- Identifying solutions to improve the efficiency of public funding allocated to agricultural subsidies;
- Improving government policies and oversight practices linked to subsidized inputs; and,
- Improving transparency (processes) in applying subsidies.
- Dr Inge Amundsen, Senior Researcher, Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and U4, Norway
- Dr Saul Mullard, Senior Advisor, U4, Norway
- Dr Kofi Takyi Asante, Research Fellow, ISSER, University of Ghana
- Minister of Agriculture (tbc)
- Director of Crop Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture
- SEND Ghana