He also recounted the meetings IFAD had with His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama when he delivered the keynote address at the 38th session of IFAD’s Governing Council in Rome. Mr. Ides De Willebois stated that the partnership between IFAD and GoG is based on leadership, ownership, commitment, innovativeness and professionalism.
Mr. Ides De Willebois stated that IFAD is privileged to support Ghana in having a nationwide approach for the agricultural sector and in widening the GASIP partnership to other co-financing partners. He also noted that GASIP will provide a framework for a long term financing for scaling up investments in private sector led and pro-poor agricultural value chain development. He also stated that it is GASIP’s hope to partner other financial institutions, development partners and the United Nations in the implementation of GASIP.
Mr. Ides De Willebois talked about the core mandate of IFAD. He stated that IFAD is ever ready to support rural poverty reduction through agriculture. He again pointed out that smallholder agriculture can be efficient, lucrative, and a dignified occupation that produces food, creates jobs, sustains families and puts countries on the road to stable inclusive development. He also stated that the involvement of the private sector in the agricultural sector is very crucial to bring additional investments for supporting smallholder farmers and rural poor.
GASIP is designed to distinguish itself from the traditional ‘hanging out’ approaches and incorporate the private sector in its implementation, he added. The West and Cental Africa IFAD Director also indicated that GASIP will provide a favourable ground for the private sector to engage on a demand driven and competitive basis to allow smallholders, particularly women and youth to access the assets they require to engage profitably in agricultural production, processing, and marketing.
Mr. Ides De Willebois emphasised on the importance of making smallholder farmers more resilient to the impacts of climate change, noting that the programme has a strong adaptation component. He also stated that due to the high level of importance IFAD attaches to climate change, 10 million US dollar grant has been allocated to mainstream climate change adaptation and resilience in smallholder farming.