The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has made available a grant of 392, 957 US dollars to two agro-based industries to scale up their activities.
The benefiary farmers are from Mampong Municipality, Sekyere Central and the Ejura Sekyere-Dumase Districts of the Ashanti Region.
The three-year project, dubbed “Scaling Seeds and Technology Partnership (SSTP),” is an initiative of Alliance for Green Revolution (AGRA) and taken over by the USAID.
It seeks to accelerate smallholder farmers’ access to improved seeds and other agricultural technologies.
This came to light during a tour of the project sites by journalists and officials of USAID and AGRA, which initiated the SSTP project in October 2014.
The beneficiaries, Josma Agro Industries and PEE Farms, would take the initial step in applying the improved seeds and the agricultural technologies on their farms and upon the success of the application, smallholder farmers would be introduced to it and trained to know the application of the new improved agricultural technologies.
Josma Agro Industries is being supported to produce and supply improved cassava cuttings of the new technologies and to build a competitive and market-based Root and Tuber Commodity Chain (R&TCC);
PEE Farms, for its part, is to make available high quality seed of improved maize and soybean varieties to smallholder farmers to improve their productivity, farm incomes and standard of living, and to decrease post- harvest loses.
According to Mrs. Janet Gyima-Kese, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Josma Industries, 1,500 smallholder farmers had been trained, since September 2014, to adopt the new technology.
The industry, she said currently had a processing company that processes cassava into gari and industrial flour for bakers, breweries and plywood industries.
She said the project intervention zone had increased to three districts and had attained a continuous availability of quality and certified cassava cuttings and yam seeds for small holder farmers.