Ghana’s president John Atta Mills returned home on Monday from a meeting with the G-8 countries in the U.S., armed with a 600 million dollars pledge to improve food and nutrition in the country.
He said the G-8 countries, which have pledged three billion dollars to implement the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, were sincere in their commitment to partner Africa in addressing food and nutrition issues of the continent.
Ghana’s share of the money would be a major boost to the government in the implementation of the Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP), expected to enhance agriculture production and help over 1.3 million Ghanaians out of poverty.
The G8 leaders approved the five-year METASIP and agreed to advance their contributions.
Speaking to journalists at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, he said the G-8 nations were happy with programmes Ghana had drawn up and progress made for agricultural development, including the Savannah Agricultural Development Authority (SADA).
The programme is aimed at improving food security and poverty reduction in Ghana’s northern region.
``We are sure to see more and more people coming to invest in agriculture,'' President Mills said.
Apart from the funding from G8 countries, some 15 private international firms declared their intention to sign onto the implementation of the Alliance’s plan in Ghana by investing in the agriculture sector.
The firms include Amarjaro Trading Limited, Rabobank, Unilever, Yara International, World Cocoa Foundation, SAB Miller, Africa Cashew Initiative Partners, AgriServ, Ecobank Group, Finatrade Group, Ghana Nuts, Premium Foods and Savanna Farmers Marketing Company.
President Mills was invited with African Union chairperson and Benin President, Thomas Yayi Boni, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete to attend the meeting in Camp David.
The G-8 economies are the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the U.S.
Under the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition Alliance, the other beneficiary countries in Africa would partner with the G8 countries to generate greater private investment in agricultural development.
They would also scale up innovation towards achieving sustainable food security and poverty reduction in Africa.