The Forum for Agricultural Advisory Support and Services, Ghana (GFAAS) is a legal entity registered with the Registrar- General of Ghana and currently being Hosted by the Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services (DAES) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and also has a strategic partnership with Engineers Without Borders. The Forum is to have Executive Board of not more than 15 people to have an oversight responsibility of the forum, which then provides guidance to the Executive Committee Members who runs the affairs of the forum. The forum has a constitution which is a framework of rules and bye-laws of the forum. Membership of the forum shall include individuals, organizations, honorary and Forum Fellows. Currently, the Forum has interim executive members but will be electing/appointing Executive Board members as stipulated in the constitution to consist of the following: Farmer Based Organizations (One); Private Sector (Three); Public Extension (Three); Research/Training/Education (Three) and Non-Governmental Organization (One).
The GFAASS overall objectives are to:
- Bring together Agricultural Advisory Support and Services (AASS) actors in Ghana and maintain a directory to the benefit of all stakeholders;
- Promote the development of AASS networks at the national, regional and district level;
- Linking AASS stakeholders in Ghana with CAADP processes and to other networks with similar goals such as the Network of Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services in West and Central Africa (NARAS_WCA), the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) and the Global Forum for Rural advisory Services (GFRAS);
- To identify opportunities for sharing and promoting AASS experiences and lessons on best fit practices among stakeholders;
- To closely collaborate with AASS education and training institutions;
- To actively interact with Agricultural Research bodies for the development and dissemination of relevant and proven technologies that will meet the needs of value-chain stakeholders;
- Setting standards and priorities for Agriculture Extension and Advisory Services in Ghana;
- To certify and regulate the activities of all AASS actors (public, private, non-governmental, etc.) to ensure conformity with set standards;
- To advocate for and influence policy decisions and practices to the benefit of all AASS stakeholders;
- To mainstream gender in AASS.
The Forum has a draft strategic plan but will need financial and technical support to develop a comprehensive strategic plan. Currently, members of the forum are from the public extension system (35), private sector (15), Farmer Based Organizations (5), individual farmers (4), universities (6), research institutions (7). There is an Interim Committee in place which was inaugurated during the first National Stakeholders meeting held on 13th November 2012 in Accra. They developed the forum constitution, begun the processes for registration and provided strategic direction.
The Committee met a couple of times to deliberate on issues and this was supported by GIZ. The Ghana forum also undertook the registration process and at present it is a legal entity with a formal name called Forum for Agricultural Advisory Support and Services, Ghana (GFAAS). An MOU has been signed between GFAAS, AFAAS and DAES for the hosting arrangement and program implementation arrangements.
The Forum can play a leading role in conducting studies on some selected value chain commodities and also participate in programs, documentation of key developmental results and disseminate to members and other stakeholders.
The immediate activities/priorities
- Give feedback to colleagues about the dialogue
- Awareness creation about AFAAS, GFRAS
- Creation of actors data-base
- Link up with GIZ coordinator on innovations centers
- Launching CF
- Capacity building for CF members
- Develop strategic document for CF
- Resource mobilization
- Develop CF KM strategy
- Test the new extensionist.
The Interim Chairman is by name Mr. Seth Ashiamah and the Focal Person is Mr. Gabriel Owusu.