CSIR-STEPRI is collaborating with FOSTERING project under the broader component of ‘Markets, Institutions, Policies and Adoption’ of the Africa RISING project. During the period, 15th July to 15th September, 2017, the research team from CSIR-STEPRI engaged in two main activities with the aim of: 1) identifying sustainable intensification (SI) gaps and/or dysfunctionalities in existing agricultural policies and programmes in Ghana; 2) mapping and assessing stakeholder interests in scaling up proven SI technologies and practices of Africa RISING; 3) FOSTERING on the other hand focused on reviewing literature on the relationship between credit provision and adoption of technologies.
Data collection was done through desktop reviews, personal and key informant interviews.
So far, ten current agricultural policy documents in Ghana have been profiled. Seven (7) of the policy documents have been reviewed, and interviews conducted with eight persons in key policy formulation and implementation positions. Eight (8) on-going agricultural programmes were profiled, five (5) have been reviewed and interviews conducted with five (5) persons involved with programme coordination or implementation. Twelve (12) organisations and/or projects (as stakeholders) were identified and content of their project activities have been reviewed to understand their interests in sustainable intensification issues and the extent of their influence to adopt and scale-up Africa RISING proven technologies and practices. Ten (10) interviews have been conducted with different project directors or coordinators to draw more insights on their activities in the agricultural sector and interests in SI approaches.
Preliminary analysis of the data collected suggests that: 1) generally, agricultural policies tend to focus more on the genetic component of SI (e.g. higher yields, improved nutrition, resilience to climate change etc.). All the policies have gaps on socio-economic component of SI. For instance, clear strategies for input and output market access and provision of institutional arrangements for effective functioning of value chains are absent or not explicitly stated in the policy implementation action plans. The reviewed agricultural programmes are mostly being implemented by development partners (through international organisations). Each programme addresses a specific component of SI depending on its core objectives. However, few have a tendency of formulating interventions that draw in bits and pieces of all three components of SI at the same time. For example, an agriculture programme could be creating sustainable livelihoods and building human capital, introducing high yielding varieties and teaching farmers to practice conservation agriculture, but could be lacking in creating access to markets.