Â Dr Cheryl Gopaul Saikali, Counsellor I/C of Development at the Canadian High Commission in Ghana has pledged her countryâ€™s readiness to ensure food security in the three northern regions.
To this end, the Canadian High Commission, in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, has selected six NGOs based in the three northern regions for the implementation of the food security project.
Periodically, new organisations are selected after competitive bidding for the implementation of projects under the Canadian High Commissions Food Security and Environmental Facility (FSEF).
Under the (FSEF) project, the Canadian High Commission in Ghana in 2008 committed an amount of CDN$ 14.3M (14.3 million Canadian Dollars) towards programmes which would enhance food security in the three Northern Regions.
The FSEF project, which is expected to end in May 2016, would also ensure the use of innovative, environmentally sound agricultural technologies and practices in selected communities and also enhance the ability of Ghanaian organisations to support food security and sustainable agriculture in the three Northern Regions.
Speaking during the signing of the fourth phase of agreement with the implementing organisations, Dr Gopaul Saikali, said the FSEF project was also aimed at supporting Ghanaâ€™s decentralisation process as well as enhancing local governance.
By signing on the six new implementing partners, it brings to 21, the total number of organisations and projects which had taken under the FESF project since 2008.
It is Canadaâ€™s hope that the FSEF would lead to lasting change in reducing hunger and land degradation in the three Northern Regions, she said.
She expressed Canadaâ€™s satisfaction with the 2013 FSEF Annual Report which showed that that FSEF projects had yielded excellent results in a variety of areas ranging from fish farming to improving value chain for onions.
We are eagerly awaiting the 2014 FESF Knowledge Sharing Forum, which would further highlight successes of the Project among a variety of stakeholders, with the goal of increasing the promotion and adoption of innovative farming methods, she added.
The six new implementing organisations are Bonstech Sustainability and Management Experts from Nadowli, Simli Aid from Kumbungu, Presbyterian Agric Services from Tamale, Farmer Training Centre from Bolgatanga, Nofthin Foundation from Bolgatanga and the Foundation for Integrated and Strategic Development from Builsa.
Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said the Project since its inception had successfully reduced the hunger period in some beneficiary communities from four to one month and also improved the yield of maize from three bags per acre to eight bags per acre.
The provision of improved storage facilities has increased the shelf life of onions and yams which subsequently lead to improved incomes and the ability of some beneficiaries to pay their childrenâ€™s school fees and health insurance among others, added.
He congratulated the six new partners for their performance during the competitive bidding process adding that their projects would cost a total of GH 3, 385,344.90.
He advised interested organisations which had innovative ideas in food security to look out for the next call for proposals in the media by mid May 2014 to submit their proposals for consideration.