Farmer Organisations In Africa To Be Honoured

Mr Fadel Ndiame(right)Lead coordinator of AGRAs farmer organization support centre in Africa briefing the media.With him are Prof Ncholas Biekpe and Felix Deyegbe.Photo;Maxwell K.BilsonThe 2013 Africa Farmer of the year award is slated to be held in Accra on November 28, 2013.

The event is being organised by the African Investment Climate Research (AFRICRES), in partnership with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and Regional Farmer Organisations throughout Africa,

The awards is aimed at showcasing and rewarding successful farmer organisations (FOs) in Africa, and acknowledging the vital role that these FOs play in promoting sustainable agriculture in the African continent.

This year’s event will honour farmer organisations in five main categories such as governance, accountability and professional capacity, income diversity female and youth participation, advocacy and market access.  At the end of the event, an overall Africa FO of the Year will be crowned among the five sector winners. The winners will each receive prizes for the various sectors.

As part of activities marking the Awards, AFRICRES and AGRA are organising a conference under the theme “Farmer Organisations in Africa: Strengthening Information-Sharing and Partnerships” on November 27, 2013.

The conference aims to bring together Regional and National Farmer Organisations, Representatives from African Governments, Farmer Organisation Support Agencies & Institutions, Researchers, Private Sector Institutions, and NGOs to discuss issues affecting Farmer organisations in their efforts to ensure food security on the African continent.

The Farmer Organisation Conference is also to give stakeholders the platform to discuss issues affecting smallholder farmers in the following key focus areas such as getting better seeds to Africa farmers, improving soil health, providing better access to markets, building partnership to change policies and,strengthening farmer organisation capacities.

Commenting on the conference and the awards, the Managing Director of AFRICRES, Professor Nicholas Biekpe, noted that Farmer Organisations continue to play a key role in achieving food security in Africa and therefore deserve recognition.

AGRA’s director of Communications & Public Affairs, Ms. Sylvia Mwichuli, also stressed the importance of the awards, noting that these would motivate farmer organisations to continue to work towards achieving a green revolution in Africa.

She also reiterated the commitment of key stakeholders in the agricultural value chain, including AGRA and AFRICRES, in promoting sustainable agriculture on the African continent.

“These farmer organisation awards will celebrate the FOs for their role in eradicating poverty in the African continent through agriculture,” Ms. Mwichuli stated.

The Head Coordinator of AGRA’s Farmer Organisation Support Centre in Accra (FOSCA) Mr Fadel Ndiame called for a collaborative effort to assist farmers along the value chain process because no single institution can do it alone.

He suggested the building of a comprehensive system to ensure that small holder farmers get the necessary assistance in terms of mdoern technology in irrigation schemes, good planing technics as well as the services of extension officers.

It is expected that the conference will help smallholder farmers gain profound knowledge on how to tackle some of the challenges they face and turn them into opportunities through sharing of practical experiences.

This platform, AFRICRES and AGRA believe, will also help in strengthening the partnerships among FOs, service providers, agricultural Support Institutions, Governments and other FO-support agencies and institutions.

The 2013 Africa Farmer Organisation Conference and Award ceremony will be graced by  Clement Kofi Humado, Ghana’s Minister for Food and Agriculture, and other relevant stakeholders in the agricultural value chain across Africa. ByLawrence Akpalu

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