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General News of Friday, 22 January 2016

Source: Origin8

2015 GIC in the 3rd Agro Food Fair West Africa

The Green Innovation Centre Project - Ghana (GIC), implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), participated in the 3rd annual Agrofood West Africa Trade Fair at the Accra International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana on 1 – 3 December, 2015.

The trade fair, which is organized by fairtrade, Agrofood West Africa and Delegation der Deutschen Wirtschaft in Ghana (AHK), is Ghana’s largest food trade show. This year, the trade fair featured over 45 major international players in the food, agriculture, and packaging technology sectors. At the fair, the Green Innovation Centre presented the project’s objectives, which focus on promoting ideas and innovations in the pineapple, maize and rice value chains.

The initiative “One World – No Hunger,” which is active in 13 partner countries and implemented by respective Green Innovation Centres was recently launched by The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The aim of the initiative is to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, rural communities and national food security.

The Head of the Team of GIC - Ghana, Mike Bartels, stated in an interview that, “The Green Innovation Centre Project - Ghana, supports technological and organizational innovations within the maize, rice and pineapple value chains. We drive a comprehensive approach that combines advice, competency-based training and investment measures. The Green Innovation Center project engages open-minded, commercially oriented farmer groups as well as companies, who have the willingness and the capacities to successfully operate innovations”.

He continued, “We place an additional focus on women and youth; it is our goal to train 15,000 farmers and workers within the next three years. The objective again is to increase their productivity, employment and income.”

As part of its focus areas, GIC places an emphasis on measures in the following five areas: applying innovations in the rice, maize, and pineapple value chains; collaborating with small agricultural businesses on innovative projects; improving and establishing competency-based training programmes; enhancing cooperation and knowledge exchange; and disseminating innovations.

Eddi Addo-Dankwa, a MoFA expert with GIC, stated in an interview, “A lot of work has been done over the years by MoFA and its partners in the agricultural sector to improve the livelihoods of small holder farmers and other actors in the agricultural value chains. A number of innovations in the sector have been introduced, but the challenged has always been how to up-scale these activities. In this respect, I see the Green Innovation Centre as a welcomed and timely intervention. Together, MoFA and GIC will create the necessary environment for enhancing the livelihoods of the small holder farmers.”

According to Mike Bartels, the Green Innovation Centre will be delighted to participate in next year’s Agrofood Trade Fair 2016 and share their success story thus far.

“We have started modestly. Today, our focus areas are in the Brong Ahafo, Greater Accra, Central, Ashanti, Volta and the Eastern Regions; some steps and training mechanisms have been put in place. What we see now is hopefully the beginning of a great success story to tell in the next three years.”

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a German public-benefit federal enterprise providing services worldwide in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development.

GIZ supports the German Government and the partner countries’ governments and supranational organizations such as the European Union or World Bank in around 130 countries in achieving their objectives in international cooperation. GIZ has had a Country Office in Accra since 1983.