Civil Society Organisations in Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development (CSO RISE) has urged government to leverage the success of their projects to provide sustainable employment for the youth.
Speaking to journalists after a media engagement workshop to outline the success and impact of the CSO RISE project, Technical Assistant Team (TAT) Lead, Mary Osei, indicated that government can use these projects as pilots, and transition them to main jobs, especially that of the agriculture extension project.
“I think there are some parts of the project that the Government of Ghana should pick up. The extension volunteer’s innovation from ActionAid, where they have trained women volunteers as agents and this training is done by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and these women live with the farmers whom they are training them.
“We identified 900 female extension volunteers (FEVs) from the 300 project communities, trained them in agro extension services, good agricultural practices (GAP) and agro-ecology, and supported them with logistics. If we say we don’t have enough extension agents to help our farmers, this is an innovation the Government of Ghana can expand on,” she said.
Ms. Osei further noted that the CSOs work with their respective district assemblies; and at the community level, they are liaising with the chiefs and opinion leaders, and have put in place systems to ensure that there is leadership at the local level. Hence, by the time the project folds up, the local leaders will take control and support it.
CSO RISE programme has been ongoing since 2019, and aims to contribute to inclusive growth and reduction of social inequalities as part of interventions to support the priorities set in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) II.
The purpose of the programme is to foster the initiatives of the CSO’s in their capacities to address economic, social and climate-resilient issues through innovative interventions, contributing to the sustainable management of ecosystems.
The programme is funded by the European Union and is worth €9million, with the Ministry of Finance, the National Authorisation Office (NAO) as the ones holding it for government and four implementing CSOs.
The four CSOs implementing various projects include Northern Ghana Integrated Development Project by ActionAid, Power to the Fishers Project by Cerath Development Organisation(CDO), Sustainable Livelihoods by Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud (CISS) and Centre for Local Government and Advocacy (CLGA).
Over thousands of beneficiaries have received training in bee-keeping, ginger farming, and fish rearing. Some women have also had training on agriculture extension work under the project which ends next year.
These projects have become a source of livelihood for most of the beneficiaries who, hitherto, did not have even lands to farm on as most of them have been given start-ups for their various projects they participated in.