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Business News of Thursday, 24 August 2017


Farmers undergo training to increase income

A three-day training for more than 100 actors in the maize and rice value chains is being held at Ada in the Greater Accra Region to increase income of smallholder farmers and decrease household poverty and malnutrition.

The training is to increase farmers’ income by 30 per cent; increase annual revenue by 25 per cent for up-and downstream actors; create 1,000 new jobs; and decrease households’ malnutrition by 15 per cent.

It is a project of the Green Innovation Centre (GIC) being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Deutsche Gesellschaftfur Internationale Zusammenarbelt (GIZ).

The GIC is part of the special global initiative; “ONE WORLD - No Hunger” and being funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

GIC Ghana, which operates in Brong-Ahafo, Ashanti, Volta and Eastern regions, aims at supporting smallholder farmers and agribusinesses in the maize and rice value chains through the introduction of innovations, both technical and organisational; and aimed at increasing productivity along the entire value chain, create jobs and improve rural livelihood.

Since the inception of the GIC in 2015, it had trained 20,000 farmers, established 90 demonstration plots, distribute solar hybrid balloon dryers for maize to 15 farmer communities; and refurbished training centres at Adidome Farm Institute and Wenchi.

Mr William A. Quaittoo, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, who opened the training, said the GIC was consistent with the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, a priority of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

He urged the project team to ensure that their activities were translated into visible results for the farmers while calling on stakeholders and beneficiaries to embrace the services and technologies being propagated by GIC to increase their yields and profitability.

Mrs Verena Wiesner, the Head of Cooperation of the German Embassy, highlighted the 60-year cooperation partnership between Germany and Ghana with emphasis on agricultural development.

Mr Ami Mehl, the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, said: “Ghana is an agrarian country and Israel is excited to share its knowledge and successful experiences, for example in irrigation, to the benefit of all Ghanaians.’’

He said farming formed only one part of agriculture and that in addition to work in the field, farming was also a business and should be treated as a science with many innovations to be implemented for best results.

Mr Mehl said Ghana had huge potentials and all stakeholders should work towards making her a leading food exporting country.

After the official opening ceremony, participants toured the Innovation Marketplace where exhibitors highlighted their activities in the maize and rice value chains.

A side attraction of the marketplace was the solar balloon dryer innovated by Pens Food Bank.

The stakeholder training is expected to have interactive discussions, which would deliberate on past GIC accomplishments and the future for the selected focus areas over the next five years.

It would also give insightful advice and recommendations, which would provide invaluable knowledge from all actors across the rice and maize value chains.

The themes chosen cover all the value chain activities of the selected commodities from production to processing and cross-cutting issues including seed systems, farmer business schools, conservation agriculture, rice parboiling, small- and medium-sized enterprises, business loops, mechanisation, and standards.