Social Assistance e.g. health exemptions, Support to children in need of special care and protection, Capitation Grants to basic schools, School Feeding Agriculture Extension Services 3.5 Gaps within the Existing Social Policies Various gaps are identified by Al-Hassan & Poulton, (2009: 7) as stated in the Draft National Social Protection Strategy, (2004). The identified gaps in current social protection interventions include: “limited coverage of some interventions, limited support to informal sector, weak targeting mechanisms in some interventions, inadequate inter-sectorial linkages and co-
9 ordination, weak institutional capacity, low cost efficiency and effectiveness, limited recognition of gender considerations, over concentration on protection”amongst others. The report suggests that recognising these gaps and the proper measures put in place will eventually enhance the proper implementation of the many social policies in Ghana. As a result, the government of Ghana has issued Social Protection Strategy aimed at providing a coherent “National Social Protection Framework to help lift the socially excluded and vulnerable from situations of extreme poverty and to build their capacity to claim their rights and entitlements in order to manage their livelihoods, to make their contributions and meet responsibilities towards national development12”. These vulnerable groups include smallholder farmers hence any social protection cannot exclude them. 4.Social Protections through Agriculture in Ghana IFAD13in 1980 financed 13 projects in Ghana deemed as the only strategy with “social protection flavour” because of its geographical targetsat reducing rural poverty, grants given to smallholders and the building of strong pro-poor institution whether formal or informal, traditional or modern14. The aim was to “achieve improved, diversified and sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor, particularly for those people dependent on marginal lands, for rural women and for vulnerable groups”15. Through this project, $155million was given as grants and loans to the farmers. This took the form of micro credit for women, small dam for dry season farming to offset the effects of droughts as well as land conservations. The project allows for the participation of the beneficiaries which is deemed as necessary for development. Sasakawa 2000 was also deemed as social protection but lacks targeting during the rolling out in Ghana. This was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture through the Agriculture Extension Department. It aimed at given maize and sorghum to farmers without necessarily targeting the poor. This program was indeed not favourable to the poor and the vulnerable according to Al-Hassan & Poulton (2009:12) because the “programme was based on credit, and managed by extension officers, as such, the smallholders “were not likely to have been selected to participate in the programme”. It is understood that projects of this kind should encourage participation of the beneficiaries.