CIVIL Society Organisations (CSOs) implementing projects under the CSOs in Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development (CSO-RISE) programme have appealed to government to help deal with challenges identified in the communities where they have been working over the past five years.
CSO-RISE which has been promoting sustainable agriculture, social protection and decent work in Ghana’s agrarian sector is a bilateral programme facilitated by the European Union (EU) and the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance.
The CSOs which are ActionAid, Cerath Development Organisation, Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA), and Cooperazione Internationale Sud Sud (CISS) also called for support from government to ensure continuity and sustainability as the programme ends in June 2023.
At a two-day national stakeholder engagement workshop held in Accra, project managers from each of the organisations took turns to report on some of the success stories and challenges experienced during their work. They appealed for support from government to help deal with the identified challenges and prayed for the projects to be sustained.
Govt must commit to promoting sustainable agriculture
The Northern Ghana Integrated Development Project which was implemented by ActionAid sought to reduce poverty amongst some 12,000 smallholder farmers in 300 communities, across 15 districts of northern Ghana.
Mr Ayuba Abukari, Project Manager at told this paper, ActionAid, “the results have .been telling , as so many people have benefitted from the project.”
Poised to ensure that agriculture is done more sustainably, the project managers adopted the use of indigenous and local resources.
“For inputs like fertilizer we encouraged farmers to go into compost use and then for seeds we use local seeds,” he said.
Commenting on the project, Team Lead for the Technical Assistance team for the (CSO-RISE) programme, Mary Tobin Osei called on government to support the work done in the communities by promoting sustainable agriculture.
“We are asking government to promote sustainable agriculture, so that instead of chemical fertilizers and imported weedicides and pesticides we should produce and promote fertilizers that will not destroy the environment,” she stressed.
Poor cashew farmers must be given seedlings at subsidised prices
The Network for Community Planning and Development (NECPAD) in partnership with Italian Non-Governmental Organisation, Cooperazione Internationale Sud Sud (CISS) worked on the sustainable livelihoods project.
Executive Director of NECPAD, Mr Paul Asamoah Kukwaw said “if we are able to support the poor women cashew farmers and the youth with subsidised inputs, they would remain in farming and see improved living standards.”
He called for government intervention in the processing and marketing of cashew so that extension officers will be on hand to provide the needed assistance to farmers.
Simple mechanised boreholes will boost agriculture
The project implementers described government’s One District, One Dam as “a good idea,” but “consider creating simple mechanised boreholes in communities which wont be as expensive as creating a whole dam.
Empower ‘bola taxis’ to manage waste
The project implementers came across issues around waste management and appealed to government to intervene.
The vocal Team Lead told this paper, “our message to government is that leaving waste management in the hands of the private sector at the local level is making it too expensive for the average farmer or people in the villages to afford .
There are small scale entrepreneurs, what we call the bola taxis, the ‘aboboyas,’ who are able to enter every corner and collect the waste. Let’s put them into cooperatives, give them the needed resources.””
Purpose of stakeholder workshop
In the course of carrying out the different projects, the implementers encountered some systemic policy related issues that they cannot address on their own.
The stakeholder engagement session was to create the platform for CSO-RISE grantees to mobilize stakeholder support on their key advocacy issues, create the platform for the implementers to present evidence they gathered to duty bearers to influence policies. The workshop was also to facilitate dialogue between CSO-RISE grantees and national level stakeholders to find solutions to issues they have identified during the implementation of their respective projects.