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UNDP Hosts Workshop to Validate Livelihood Options Survey

Tamale Economics Undp Validation
Participants during the workshop

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has held a consultative stakeholders’ validation workshop in Tamale on a survey on the agricultural value chain within the northern sector.

The validation workshop was for participants to examine the findings of the survey, which was conducted to identify some of the livelihood options in the agricultural value chain, which when maximised, could reduce the vulnerability of communities to violent extremism.

Participants included aggregators, producers, processors, agricultural extension officers, District and Municipal Directors of Agriculture and officers of the business advisory centres.

The survey, conducted in December, last year, formed part of the Preventing and Responding to Violent Extremism in the Atlantic Corridor project being carried out in 10 districts and 13 communities in northern Ghana by the UNDP with funding support from the Governments of Australia, Norway, Germany and Denmark.

The project is also being implemented in five countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo.

Builsa South, Wa East, Savelugu, Saboba, North Gonja, West Mamprusi, Mamprugu-Moaduri, Bole and Kasena-Nankana are the beneficiary districts of the project in Ghana.

Madam Melody Azinim, a Peace and Governance Analyst at UNDP, at the two-day workshop, said they started in December, last year, with a community emersion workshop with various stakeholders in the northern sector seeking to understand the dynamics in the agricultural value chain.

She said based on the recommendations and suggestions at that workshop, they decided to conduct a survey for additional data on the livelihood options available, as well as those that were scalable.

She said the validation would facilitate the effective implementation of the project to help address the vulnerabilities of communities to violent extremism.

Madam Azinim added that the findings would not only be valuable to the UNDP’s project but would also serve as a guide for other organisations and individuals seeking to go into those communities for other development initiatives.

Non-traditional agriculture, cereals, legumes, and vegetables were among some of the produce considered as value chains in the survey, while diversification into the farming system, capacity to provide jobs, gender acceptability and income generation were the criteria for selecting a value chain.

The survey found out that early marriages, family obligations and gender discrimination greatly influenced livelihood options in these areas.

Other challenges involved limited access to resources, high interest rates, restricted mobility and other cultural barriers were challenges affecting livelihoods.

It recommended the Village Savings and Loans Association approach as a viable intervention that could improve access to finance among value chain actors.

Mr Isaac Pabia, the National Secretary of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, lamented over the high cost of production and the inability of successive governments to implement policies and programmes targeted at addressing the challenges confronting the sector.

Chief Sintaro Iddrisu, the Chief of Sakoya in the Mion Traditional Area, appealed to government to demonstrate enough commitment towards supporting the overall improvement of agriculture in the country.

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