The Impact of Government/NGO Support Services on Performance of Crop Production and In Urban Farmers’ Livelihood: A Case of Accra, Ghana
Although urban agriculture plays an important role in economic development, activities that support it are rarely included in programmes for urban development and poverty reduction. The study was undertaken in three communities (Irrigation Development Authority area, Roman down and Afariwa) in the Ashaiman Municipality in the Greater-Accra region. The objective of the study is to determine whether Government/Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) support services increases performance of crop production and improvement in farmers’ livelihood and also to identify urban agricultural policies in Accra. Purposive sampling was used to select urban vegetable farmers out of an industry (urban agriculture) that produces, processes and markets food and fuel, to yield a diversity of crops and livestock. Simple random sampling was then used to select 104 out of 200 farmers and 5 members out of 12 Accra Working Group on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (AWGUPA) members using the pick and replace method. The Government support services found were Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and Irrigation Development Authority (IDA). The NGO support services were the Pro Credit Bank, Dangme Rural Bank and the “Mummies”. Eighty eight farmers who had access to Government/NGO support services observed an improvement in performance of crop production while 16 farmers who did not have access to assistance did not realize any improvement. Also, there was a significant difference between access to Government/NGO support services and the various livelihoods outcome of urban farmers. Contemporary policies influencing urban and peri-urban agriculture include policy and legislative support for urban agriculture, education and policy awareness on urban agriculture and urban food safety, among others. These draft guidelines for strengthening and supporting urban agriculture has been produced and presented by AWGUPA to Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) for consideration. However, it has not yet been approved.
Key words: Government/NGO support services, contemporary policies influencing urban and peri-urban agriculture, livelihood outcomes of urban farmers.