NPP’s Safety Net for the Poor: Burkina Faso Learns from Ghana

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…Vegetable Producers, Buyers to Enjoy Pensions

 Diplomatic reports reaching NewsDay indicates that the government of Burkina Faso will be implementing next year a social protection programme targeted at over 20,000 informal economy actors in the vegetable production chain, particularly vegetable producers and their partner buyers from Ghana in the cross border trade between the two countries.

Encouraged, perhaps by the Ghana initiative in which cocoa producers are to benefit from a pensions programme as announced by the Vice President, His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the programme will be run under a Public-Private Partnership arrangement that would bring on board private sector players in Burkina Faso, including First Atlantic Bank (BF) and Bank Agricole of Burkina Faso.

Also benefitting from the programme, our reliable sources indicated, are producers from the Upper East, who harvest around the same period as their counterparts in Burkina Faso.

Our sources, in explaining the modus operandi of the deal, said a company would be nominated by producers to run the programme for them, whilst the buyers association would also be required to pick an insurance company to handle their policy for them, with a credible arrangement being put in place to facilitate the payment of premiums without much pain and difficulty.

Independent business sources have confirmed the reports, affirming that the deal went through the Legislature around 2010 informed by concerns from the Ghana Embassy on the need for a sanitizing and formalizing the cross border trade which had been hit by intrigue and carnage. The deal is also an attempt at addressing issues raised in a study conducted by the reputable International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI) of Washington.

Should both deals go through, a major success story and development milestone would have been chalked in the effort to rapidly transform the economies of nations in sub-Saharan Africa as espoused by the African Development Bank AfDB, which highlights regional integration, formalizing of informal economies and creation of jobs for the bulging youth in the sub-regions as cardinal development ingredients.

The formalizing process would ensure standardization, based on food safety, production, pricing, processing, haulage and packaging processes, away from typical farm gate situations onto state monitored environments such that data and identity of players can  also be established to facilitate the programme in which private and public funding would be required.

Another major feature of the deal is the introduction of a tomato variety and appropriate technology to redeem the fortunes of the Pwalugu Tomato Factory under a bilateral PPP production module that would create employment in the Upper East.

An official announced is expected to be made by the end of 2017 by the host country on Joint Trade Commission platforms of the two countries, highlighting details and benefits as well as protocols of implementation in line with international standards.

Recently, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia announced, amidst huge comfort, that cocoa producers would be enjoying benefits under a social protection programme that the Nana Akufo-Addo administration would be unveiling as one of the New Patriotic Party’s safety net programmes aimed at improving the lot of rural folk.

Source: Fordia Rebecca Amenyah || NewsDay


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