COCOBOD, LBCs urged to collaborate with MMDAs to provide public service for cocoa growing communities

0
39

Mrs Harriet Nuamah Agyemang, Senior Programme Officer at SEND Ghana, has urged COCOBOD and the Licencing Buying Companies (LBCs) to engage the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) before undertaking public service projects for cocoa growing communities to avoid duplication.

Her advice follows a survey conducted by SEND Ghana in partnership with OXFAM, in some selected cocoa growing communities in the Eastern and Central regions, which findings showed that COCOBOD and LBCs undertook public service projects in those communities without prior consultation with the MMDAs.

Presenting the findings of the survey in Accra, Mrs Agyemang said such acts did not augur well for the harmonisation of projects, adding that it also did not offer the MMDAs the opportunity to assess the gender responsiveness of those projects.

“The district assembly is responsible for the development of the District, everything begins and ends at their doorstep, and so, if there is any other State institution that wants to support a particular Assembly, it is just fair that you go to the Assembly first to find out what their needs are and what you want to bring to the table and then, they can take you to exactly where the need is and then you put it there.

“But, if you go your own way to do it, whatever public service you place in a certain community might not be what the Assembly intended for that community, or, for all you know the Assembly had already made plans and had started processes to get that same intervention in that community, only for them to find out that somebody has already done that for that community. Then, it means that the initial money they put into all preparations has gone to waste and then we haven’t been efficient.

“So, it is better the three— COCOBOD, LBCs and the Assembly collaborate, especially during the planning process so that COCOBOD and the LBCs will tell the Assembly this is what we can offer, include it in the plan and then indicate that COCOBOD will fund, this LBC will fund,” she said.

The survey, which was undertaken between March and May 2023, in seven districts across two regions, sought to explore the gender responsiveness of public services provided by MMDAs, COCOBOD and LBCs with revenue from the cocoa value chain.

The survey was conducted in the Birim Central, Birim North, Akim Achiase, Akyemmansa and Asene Manso Akroso, all in the Eastern Region and the Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira and Twifo Ati-Morkwa in the Central Region.

It formed part of SEND Ghana’s Fair for All Project, which sought to, among others, promote gender inclusiveness in trade in the cocoa value chain.

The survey also disclosed that revenues generated by five of the districts from the cocoa value chain was “low and oscillated”, while none of the districts received cocoa revenue directly from the national level, and no district was able to raise at least GH¢100,000 from the sector.

Again, in terms of how revenue generated was utilised, the survey revealed that the majority of the Assemblies spent a chunk of their revenue on providing water and improving educational infrastructure for the communities.

On gender responsiveness of projects undertaken in the communities, the findings showed that the public services such as school and health infrastructure, agricultural inputs, water, roads and markets, responded to the basic needs of the people.

It, however, noted that some Assemblies, which claimed to have spent on services such as agriculture could not indicate the number of farmer beneficiaries and the kind of services they provided to meet their needs.

Mrs Agyemang commended COCOBOD for its education and training services, which she said had, so far, proven to be responsive to the basic and strategic needs of cocoa farmers, both men and women.

“This should be sustained and replicated in education and health projects funded by COCOBOD,” she urged.

Mrs Agyemang, however, asked the Assemblies to ensure that their annual plans and budgets were gender responsive, adding that to avoid omission and duplication of efforts, the sustainability plans of LBCs should have gender responsive analysis components and must be in tandem with annual plans of the district Assemblies.

Additionally, she charged the Assemblies to assess the gender responsiveness of COCOBOD, LBCs and Non-governmental Organisations planned interventions in areas such as education, health, social protection and agriculture, before implementation.

GNA

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here