Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09ACCRA592
2009-06-24 16:38:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Accra
Cable title:  

GHANA FOOD SECURITY AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

Tags:  EAGR ECON GH 
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VZCZCXYZ0006
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAR #0592 1751638
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241638Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ACCRA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7944
INFO RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0827
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 1805
RUEHPC/AMEMBASSY LOME 2217
RUEHCO/AMEMBASSY COTONOU 0860
RUEHAB/AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN 0852
RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 0359
RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU 0590
UNCLAS ACCRA 000592 

EEB/TPP/MTAA/ABT FOR JANET SPECK
EEB/TPP/MTAA/ABT FOR GARY CLEMENTS
EEB/TPP/MTAA/ABT FOR DON MORTON

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON GH
SUBJECT: GHANA FOOD SECURITY AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
PRIORITIES

REF: STATE 58996

UNCLAS ACCRA 000592

EEB/TPP/MTAA/ABT FOR JANET SPECK
EEB/TPP/MTAA/ABT FOR GARY CLEMENTS
EEB/TPP/MTAA/ABT FOR DON MORTON

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON GH
SUBJECT: GHANA FOOD SECURITY AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
PRIORITIES

REF: STATE 58996


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: While meeting with representatives of the Ministry
of Food and Agriculture to deliver reftel demarche on food security,
Econ Chief and Econoff were told that agricultural development
remained the number one priority of the Mills Administration. The
GOG supports elevating food security as a G8 deliverable and is
receptive to USG plans for greater country ownership of the issue.
The ministry is drafting a white paper for development partners on
its agricultural development priorities. The GOG is emphasizing the
promotion of non-traditional (i.e. non-cocoa, gold or timber)
exports, although its actions have not yet matched government
rhetoric. END SUMMARY


2. (U) Econ Chief and Econoff delivered reftel demarche to Mr. Ram
Ebo Bhavnani, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) Director of
Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation on June 18. Dr. Sam
Dapaah, USAID's embedded advisor to the Minister, also attended.
Mr. Bhavnani was receptive to the USG policy of elevating food
security at the L'Aquila G8 Summit and of reftel five principals for
global action on food security and agricultural development. Our
interlocutors noted that agricultural development was the number one
priority for the Mills Government due to the number of Ghanaians
that can be positively impacted by improvements to agricultural
productivity and greater export opportunities.

COUNTRY OWNERSHIP
--------------

3. (U) Dr. Dapaah explained that MOFA was developing a plan for
improved food security as the first step in undertaking agricultural
development. The ministry is drafting a white paper for development
partners that would outline key agricultural products, nutrition
goals, livelihood creation, and strategies to reduce post-harvest
losses, all with a focus on value-chain processes (NOTE: USAID

emphasizes value-chains in its export-enhancement projects in Ghana.
END NOTE). Dapaah emphasized that the GOG first needed to
explicitly define what it means by agricultural development to
domestic and international stakeholders. He also stressed that much
of the work would have to be done at the district level in order to
be effective. Dapaah also told us he wants development partners to
use country systems and joint sectoral reviews, and that MOFA is
using a portion of its MDBS (multi-donor budget support) towards
agricultural development.

GOING WITH THE GRAIN
--------------

4. (U) According to Dapaah, MOFA's next concern is the development
of the non-cocoa sector. He says that cocoa accounts for only 13
percent of Ghana's agricultural GDP--surprisingly low given cocoa's
importance as a source of hard currency. This leaves nearly 87
percent of the agricultural economy on which to focus. Dapaah wants
to increase the quality of non-traditional crops, such as maize and
other grains, to the level of Ghana's cocoa crop, which is seen as
having much higher levels of quality control through strict
government monitoring and strong incentives for producers. He also
discussed ways to reduce risk for non-traditional crop farmers as a
way to stimulate growth in those sectors, as well as closing Ghana's
large agricultural productivity gap before any gains can be achieved
in agricultural development.

COMMENT
--------------

5. (SBU) Although Ghana is in no position to provide assistance to
other countries to reduce their food shortages, Ghana appears to
have the political will to support the USG message on food security.
The Mills Administration strongly supports local capacity building,
and with agriculture as its nominal top priority, the GOG is
particularly receptive to the idea of country ownership of
agricultural development. The GOG's challenge is that
non-traditional exports have been pushed by previous governments
with little to show, and early indications are that Ghana will need
to expend more energy on mitigating its fiscal crisis and energy
sector issues than improving the welfare and productivity of the 60
percent of its workforce employed in farming. Swift and concrete
GOG action in implementing its agricultural policy is the only way
for the GOG to move beyond mere good intentions in agriculture.

TEITELBAUM