Adopt partnership to become relevant – Smallholder farmers advised

Mrs Rukia speaking at the  ceremony

Mrs Rukia speaking at the ceremony

The World Food Programme (WFP) has urged smallholder farmers in Ghana to pool their resources together to raise the quality of their expertise in order to increase demand for their services.

Speaking at a session on custom and contract farming during the 8th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibition and Conference held at Tamale in Northern Region a fortnight ago , the Sustainable Food Coordinator of the WFP, Nanga Kaye, stated that it was  necessary smallholder farmers  come together  to create more job opportunities for themselves.

The WFP is a United Nations Agency presently focusing its support to national governments on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – Zero Hunger and SDG 17 – Partnerships globally.

 

As part of its efforts to achieve this, it partnered with Agrihouse Foundation, a non-governmental organisation to organise the event, which aimed at linking smallholder farmers to markets, assisting farmers and agri-businesses to expand their businesses before and after harvesting, helping farmers adopt best practices and creating an effectual interactive avenue to enable businesses share innovative ideas and partner for progress.

He said farming related services that customs and contract farmers could offer include, weeding, harvesting, transportation of produce to the market and sales.

Mr Kaye said services of custom farmers were critical in reducing post-harvest losses and when delivered timely and effectively, would see the scramble for their services.

The WFP at the same event hosted two other events on Sustainable Food System, which focused on food safety, proper warehousing and food storage methods and the commodity session which focused on soybean, rice and maize.

The farmers were advised to position themselves to meet the huge logistical demands of the industry because little would be achieved in the industry, if the appropriate logistical and supply chain systems were not in place.

The Country Director of the WFP, Mrs Rukia Yacoub, commended organisers of the programme for creating the platform to support smallholder farmers who produce the majority of the food yet remain the most food-insecure livelihood groups in country.

She said plans were far advanced to help agro-processors in Ghana produce for the West Africa sub-region and other markets, adding that “more markets would be created for the smallholder farmers to produce, more and extricate themselves from food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty.

 

This year’s event brought together about 3,122 participants, 144 exhibitors and value chain actors in the agriculture sector including farmers, buyers, processors, transporters, input dealers, equipment dealers, financial institutions, research institutions, development partners, policy makers, government officials,  among others.

 

Partners and sponsors of the 8th Annual Pre-harvest Exhibitions and Conference event included the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Northern Development Authority, USAID ADVANCE, Yara Ghana, Ecobank, Mel Consulting, Kosmos, Energy, Interplant, Dizengoff, RMG, Hatuom Trading and LK International

LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU

 

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