Eva Tetteh is a student in the Masters of Public Policy program at Michigan State University, interning with the USAID/Ghana Feed the Future Agriculture Policy Support Project. In Ghana, agriculture is recognized as the backbone of the economy providing food, income and employment to almost all its rural population. Chemonics International is implementing the USAID/Ghana, Feed the Future, Agriculture Policy Support Project (APSP), with a goal to improve the food security-enabling environment for private sector investment in agriculture, through evidence-based policy formation and implementation, strengthening research capacity and advocacy. APSP is working with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and other institutions in Ghana, including the private sector, civil society organizations, and universities and research institutions to accomplish this goal.
As part of her internship, Eva worked on setting up a database on all grantees’ activities. The purpose of this database was to help track the activities of grantees as well as monitor their progress. The database was divided it into three components: policy education, policy advocacy and policy dialogue. Currently, the project has sponsored six different organizations, which are educating farmers and input dealers at the grass root level to have in-depth knowledge about the various agricultural policies in Ghana.
In addition, she reviewed literature on the agricultural data collection needs in Ghana. Her task was to identify the capacity gaps in agriculture data collection so the project team could design an intervention that would strengthen data capacity and train field enumerators to collect reliable and defensible agriculture data for the Statistical Research Information Directorate (SRID) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Eva found that Ghana lacks reliable and defensible agricultural data, due to inadequate funds to conduct proper agricultural census and also lacks qualified enumerators to help collect reliable data. From this she has gained a great appreciation for the importance of well-collected data to support effective and evidence-based policy decision-making and implementation.
Furthermore, she designed a questionnaire to assess the research capacity gaps of the staff at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The aim of the questionnaire was to help identify the research capacity gaps of the relevant government units in order to assist in designing interventions to help build their research capacity.
Finally, Eva participated in the third year annual work planning retreat of the project. This was a three-day work plan, which brought together various stakeholders from both the public and private sectors to discuss the challenges confronting the agriculture sector and also propose solutions that will help resolve some of these problems.
Through Eva’s internship, she has gained an in-depth understanding about the agricultural sector of Ghana. Participating in various dialogues on agriculture has helped her understand and appreciate the importance of this sector and in general the need to create a policy enabling environment to enhance private sector investment in agriculture.