National Policy Dialogue on Decentralization within the Agricultural Sector held in Tamale

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A National Dialogue aimed at strengthening decentralization for effective agricultural sector policy implementation and co-ordination has taken place in Tamale, Northern Regional Capital. 

The agricultural policy dialogue was jointly organized by the Ghana market Systems and resilience (MSR) and Policy LINK activity, both USAID funded interventions under the Feed the Future initiative of the United States Government.

The stakeholders were made up of representatives from the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development as well as the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa affairs Committee and Regional, District Coordinating Directors and Heads from the Department of Agricultural at all levels. 

The participants also included Research institutions, Academia, Development partners and Farmer Interest Groups including women and Persons with Disabilities, selected from 17 MMDAs in the Northern, Northern East, Upper East and West regions. 

The dialogue according to the organizers was to gather inputs into a policy guide or document being developed by a consultant that is aimed at addressing institutional challenges and gaps in the decentralization process particularly in the agricultural sector.

The Northern Regional Minister Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu in a key note address read on his behalf, lauded the idea to rally all the stakeholders together, since that could ensure an effective and coordinated approach to dealing with the inherent issues as a way of promoting inclusivity in policy making and implementation in the country.

“In discussing critical issues on strengthening of decentralization and it is anticipated to strengthen the decentralization efforts especially at the sub-national level thereby enhancing agricultural and economic development and contributing to minimize conflict and improving socio-economic resilience of the people,” the Regional Minister noted. 

Alhaji Shaibu said such an avenue would also enable stakeholder to increase their participation in a more transparent and inclusive manner using evidence based approach to agriculture and food systems policy.

Earlier in his welcoming address, the Chief of Party, Feed the Future Ghana market Systems and resilience Activity, Glenn A Lines said both activities have a mandate to support the government of Ghana in improving the enabling policy environment through a consultative, sustained, inclusive and evident based and demand driven policy making process.

 According to him the dialogue had been preceded with stakeholder engagement adding that the scope was being expanded to highlighting the issues that hinder the process of decentralization so that they can collectively work o addressing the challenge.

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