The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Hajia Alima Mahama, says government has developed a Rural Development Policy which will serve as a guideline for coordinated service delivery and investment in rural communities.
The Minister mentioned that, the Policy seeks to modernize agriculture for rural growth and development, provide quality socio-economic infrastructure and services in a decent and secured environment, maximize the potential of rural areas towards rural enterprises development and industrialization.
The document will also promote sustainable management and utilization of natural resources for the benefit of the rural population, promote financial inclusion in rural communities and strengthen participation of the rural communities in the decentralized governance system.
Hajia Alima Mahama disclosed this at the Meet the Press in Accra.
The Minister mentioned that some projects have been completed during the year under the Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP). These include Small Earth dams and some adapted for irrigation, 20 feeder roads and 78 Climate change interventions.
She also stated that 9,450 jobs have been created and total wage payments for the workforce at GHS5.67 million.
“My Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has secured a US$60,000,000.00 facility from the World Bank to implement the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project. An allocation of US$40,000,000.00 under Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) will be used to deliver projects such Feeder roads, Small earth dams and dugouts and nurseries to produce 8 million fruit seedlings to be planted within a targeted area of 1,300 Hectares” she said.
Hajia Mahama disclosed that the project will create 30,000 direct jobs, through a Labour-Intensive Public Works (LIPW) programme and provide grants to 25,000 individuals to start small businesses through a productive inclusion programme.
She said “The Ministry in collaboration with MoFA initiated the Planting for Exports and Rural Development (PERD) as part of its efforts to support the Government’s National Tree Crop programme. The PERD aims to use the tree crop subsector to provide sustainable income and create job opportunities in rural areas”
In the 2018 pilot year, 4.5 million tree crop seedlings (mainly cashew, coconut and oil palm) were raised from nurseries established in 106 Districts, and a total of 68,514 farmers planted the seedlings on 68,514 hectares of land”.
She said through the implementation of the Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP), implemented by the Social Investment Fund (SIF), a total of 245 socio-economic infrastructure are being provided and at various levels of completion as follows:26 have been completed and in-use, 94 of them are within 51 – 99% completion rate; and 25 are below 50% completion rate.
“The implementation of these infrastructures has created 2,185 jobs and GHS14.04 million was paid as remuneration to the engaged persons. Under the micro-credit scheme of the IRDP, 6,204 farmers have been provided with a credit facility totaling GHS10,326,805.00”, she added.