January 28, 2014
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Ghana jointly conducted the terminal evaluation of the Project for "Sustainable Development of Rainfed Lowland Rice Production in Ghana" from 13th to 28th January, 2014.
The project commenced in July 2009 and will end in July 2014. It is being implemented in 9 districts in the Ashanti and Northern Regions of Ghana. These are Asante Akim North, Asante Akim Central, Atwima Mponua, Ahafo Ano North and Adansi South which are located in the Ashanti Region. Tamale Metropolitan, East Gonja, West Mamprusi and Sagnerigu districts are located in the Northern Region.
The overall Goal of the project is to increase the profitability and production of rice in rain-fed lowlands found in the Project areas. Specifically, the Project's purpose is to disseminate the "model" of sustainable development of rain-fed lowland rice farming in project sites. The Project has three main outputs of which each has a number of activities which when implemented, contributes to the fulfillment of the project purpose and overall goal. These outputs or components are:
i. Development of a technical package which consists of improved rain-fed lowland rice production practices
ii. Verification of methodology to improve farming support system for sustainable rain-fed lowland rice production and
iii. Development of an extension guideline for sustainable rain-fed lowland rice farming.
The objectives of the evaluation were:
i. Evaluating the performance of the project by JICA's five evaluation criteria namely relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability and
ii. Examining the degree of the achievements of the Project outputs and purpose
iii. Making recommendations for further improvement in the Project's implementation and its sustainability.
From the evaluation, it was realized that the project has made tremendous progress since its commencement in July 2009. For instance, even though the project is yet to be completed, its impacts are numerous and visible as reflected in the high yields (which exceed the project target) culminating in increased incomes and improved living conditions of the beneficiary households.
Also, the Project is consistent with the policy framework of the Governments of Ghana and Japan and the needs of beneficiaries. Moreover, the project purpose and outputs will be substantially achieved by the end of the project in July 2014. This is demonstrated by the existing good implementation structures and the profound knowledge and excellent skills of extension staff and beneficiaries. However, there is the need to verify and finalize the developed rice extension guideline before the end of the 2014 cropping season.
The achievements of the Project can be sustained by the implementation of the Exit Strategy (already developed and approved by JICA AND MOFA) and full utilization of the Ghanaian counterparts whose capacity have been developed to upscale the technologies under the Project.
The evaluation ended with the organization of the 5th Steering Committee of the Project where the Minutes of Meetings was jointly signed by Dr. Jiro Aikawa, Senior Advisor (Agriculture and Rural Development, JICA) and Mr. Maurice Tanco Abisa – Seidu (Chief Director of MOFA).
Below are some pictures of the Evaluation mission:
Interview with Project Farmers
Interview with Rice Millers and Processors
Interview with Extension Agents
Mr. Maurice T. Abisa-Seidu exchanging the signed Minutes of Meetings with Dr. Aikawa. To the left of Dr. Aikawa is the Chief Representative of JICA (Ghana Office),Mr. Koji Makino