wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ACCRA2583
2005-12-20 17:19:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Accra
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH MINISTER OF FOOD AND

Tags:   ECON  EAGR  GH  AGRICULTURE  MCA 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS ACCRA 002583 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAGR GH AGRICULTURE MCA
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH MINISTER OF FOOD AND
AGRICULTURE




1. Summary: Ambassador Bridgewater made a courtesy call on
Minister for Food and Agriculture Ernest Debrah December 6.
The Ambassador focused on Post's efforts to promote
biotechnology, a revised agriculture strategy, and Ghana's
agriculture-focused Millennium Challenge Account Compact
Proposal. End Summary.

Biotechnology


--------------------------




2. The Ambassador outlined USAID's assistance with drafting
bio-safety regulations and inquired about the status of the
proposed bio-safety bill. Minister Debrah said the bill had
been submitted to Parliament and should be passed in the
Spring 2006 session. Debrah commented that biotechnology was
key to the future of agriculture-based economies like Ghana's
and therefore a proper regulatory framework was essential.

Revised Agriculture Strategy


--------------------------




3. The Ambassador asked about progress on revising Ghana's
overall agriculture structure, which is being assisted by
USAID and the Department for International Development
(DfID). The Minister said he was happy with the progress,
but that implementation would not be possible without more
resources. Ghana's current strategy, which is focused on
mechanization, was formulated twenty years ago, when the
population was less than half of the current 20 million
estimated to live in Ghana. The new strategy will take on
the tougher issues of land and water, which will make donor
coordination more complex and require greater resources.

Millennium Challenge Account


--------------------------




4. The Ambassador asked about the Ministry of Agriculture's
involvement in the development and proposed implementation of
Ghana's agriculture-focused Millennium Challenge Account
(MCA) proposal. Minster Debrah said he and his Ministry had
had a good deal of input in the initial proposal. He said he
attended a "Mini-Cabinet" meeting December 5 with the
President and other relevant Ministers focused entirely on
the proposal. He added that the President planned to hold
these meetings weekly until the compact was signed. These
meetings will focus on assigning responsibility for
implementation in the coming weeks and work towards signing a
compact in March 2006. The Ambassador said that the due
diligence required by the complex proposal could delay
signing until June or July of 2006.

Comment


--------------------------




5. Debrah was well informed on all the issues raised by the
Ambassador. His obvious willingness to engage and cooperate
with other Ministries could set an example for working-level
officials that must cooperate with colleagues in the
Ministries of Finance, Health, Environment, and Lands if
Ghana's bold plans for agricultural development are going to
be achieved. Post sees the institution of weekly
cabinet-level meeting on Ghana's MCA proposal as a positive
sign that the GoG is working towards completing a compact and
implementing it quickly after signing. End Comment.
BRIDGEWATER