USAID Assists Farmers To Produce Maize

usaidOver 30,000 farmers in the country have received a 32-million dollar financial assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to embark on a large-scale maize production.

The farmers are from the Northern Belt of Brong –Ahafo, covering Tain, Banda, Techiman, Sene, Pru, Kintampo North and South areas and their counterparts from the three northern regions.

The project being implemented by an NGO, Ghana Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement Programme (ADVANCE), would create an avenue for the farmers to be more competitive by increasing the production of soya beans, rice through the use of quality but subsidised input, mechanisation, easy access to market, and financial support.

The Regional Co-ordinator of ADVANCE, Emmanuel Mensah Gyarteng, who made this known to the Ghanaian Times at a demonstration farm at Kyingakrom in the Kintampo South District, said the market-led project had aggregators who liaise with identifiable buyers to know the needed quantity and quality of produce before farmers begin productions to avoid glut.

A component of the project bestows actors with periodic basic managerial training, book-keeping and modern agronomic tutorials among others.

This and many mechanised practices have translated into significant and high-quality yields by farmers over the past three and half years of operation.

Mr. Gyarteng announced that between December, 2012 and June, 2013, nine maize aggregators sold 3,686.23 metric tones valued at GH¢ 435,432 from some 4,000 farmers in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

It has been established that maize is sustainable for that area but the majority of farmers in communities like New-Longoro, Ayawoya and Kyingakrom cultivate yam and groundnut as their main crops, hence the demonstration to commercialise maize farming there.

The Regional Co-ordinator noted that since the intervention was rolled out aggregators always been buying more which meant that farmers’ production was also increasing than before.

A beneficiary farmer, William Kakoo told the Ghanaian Times that, the intervention had changed fortunes in all aspects of their business.

According to him, they were harvesting average yields because modern agro-economic practices were alien to them. - Daniel Dzirasah, Kyingakrom

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