Agriculture continues to play a significant role in Ghana’s economy dominated by resource-poor small holders. Farming is largely traditional, with simple hand tools and very little use of purchased inputs. So far, increased in agricultural production has been derived mainly from area expansion. Concerted effort is therefore required to intensify agricultural production by introducing appropriate technology for improving labour intensive production and agricultural incomes. Inadequate extension to farmers is a major constraint to increased productivity. Historically, extension services have been provided by the state. However, the various demands by the agricultural value chain means that the public extension system is unable to meet all the needs of the stakeholders along the agricultural value chain.
The Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II) of MoFA recognizes the need to deliver services through farmer groups and the private sector as a strategy for ensuring cost effectiveness in services delivery to the small scale farmers. Encouraging farmers to carry out their farming activities as a business, will thus increase their potential to benefit from the economies of scale inherent in operating in a business-like and professional manner.
Evidence shows an upsurge in private sector involvement in extension services provision in the country in the last decade. There is no doubt that the benefits of such (PPP) will facilitate speedy, efficient and cost effective delivery of extension services, creation of added value through synergies between public authorities and private sector actors through the integration and cross transfer of innovations along the agricultural value chain.
There is therefore the need to explore a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in general extension delivery as an engine of pro-poor growth. It is against this background that the DAES is to coordinate the activities of Private Extension Services Providers, Explore and Forge an effective Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in general extension delivery in Ghana.
The Modernization of Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) Program intends to improve the production and productivity of farmers by supporting the implementation of a market-oriented approach to farming by strengthening and promoting a comprehensive agricultural extension service delivery at the National, Regional and District levels.
The Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services (DAES) is mandated to facilitate the interaction and coordination of agricultural extension advisory service provision in Ghana. Agricultural Extension service provision as stipulated in the extension policy is pluralistic, thus embracing both private and the public sectors in extension service provision.
The increased private sector participation is a positive development, as it will help complement government efforts in the face of dwindling government funding to the sector. The DAES believes that such collaboration will establish an efficient and effective organization of agricultural extension services in the country that could transform traditional agriculture into a modern one for improved living standards of the rural people.
1. Objectives of the Private Sector Extension Desk of the DAES:
2. Identify and review the situation of the Private Sector Providers in Ghana.
3. . Develop Standards and Guidelines for private extension.
4. Improve the capacity of Private Extension Services Provider’s in management, FBO development, enterprise development e-extension and HIV and other emerging issues in agriculture to ensure uniformity in extension service delivery.
5. Establish and Manage Extension Services Provider’s Platform at the National and Regional and District Levels.
6. Regularly collect data and update information on the platform.
7. Facilitate a platform for knowledge sharing for stakeholders.