Small-scale farmers, especially producers of cereal crops, have been advised to sell their produce to the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) to maximise income rather than relying on open-market traders.
Mr Emmanuel Owusu Poku, acting Manager of the Wenchi Agricultural Station in the Bono Region, who made the call said the GCX through warehouse receipt system stands a position to help farmers to avoid post-harvest losses, and also offer better pricing to make them competitive in the farming business.
Mr Poku made these remarks during a field demonstration for 90 selected small-scale farmers and Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) at the Wenchi Agricultural Station, Wenchi in the Bono Region.
He explained that GCX was a regulated national and regional market that links buyers and sellers of agricultural and non- agricultural products.
He said: “the days where smallholder farmers were helplessly shortchanged by commodity middlemen and open-market buyers should be over. GCX has come handy to salvage the post-harvest predicaments of farmers.”
The one-day demonstration exercise was designed to teach the participants improved harvesting and post-harvest management practices, aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity.
The farmers and the AEAs were taken through practices such as harvesting matured farm produce at the right time, storage techniques and how to operate electronic weighing machine.
According to Mr Poku, the exercise was the third phase of a programme dubbed, “Enhancement of crops demonstrations at agricultural stations to showcase some selected released crop varieties to farmers.”
He explained that during the second phase of the project, the participants were thought practicalities in applying weedicides and fertilisers, while they were introduced to improved crop varieties and skills development at the first phase.
He indicated that the project which was supported by the Food and Agricultural Organisation was part of the implementation of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ initiative, adding that crops involved were varieties of maize, cowpea, groundnut, cassava and yam.
FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, WENCHI