GASIP holds stakeholders workshop on FBOs

The Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP) implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) yesterday organised a stakeholder’s workshop to deliberate on the possibilities of developing and sustaining Farmer-Based Organisations (FBOs).

Themed “Developing Profitable and Sustainable Farmer-Based organisations (FBOs) along Value Chains in Ghana” it was funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) loan and the Adaptation for Small Holder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) grant.

The two-day event was aimed at drawing knowledge and experiences from smallholder farmers to help policy makers improve policy to profit the Agricultural sector.

Present at the event were representatives from the Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PPMED), Statistics Research and Information Directorate (SRID), Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services (DAES), Policy Advisor, Registrar of cooperatives, regional and district directors of agriculture and representatives of FBO and value chain drivers.

In his address, the National Programme Coordinator of GASIP, Mr Kluste Kudomor said the event was targeted at smallholder farmers as they produced 90 per cent of staple food and were the main actors in maintaining food security in the country.

“We want to know what went right in the FBO development process under the various programmes of MOFA and other institutions but most importantly what went wrong in developing and sustaining FBOs,” he noted.

This, he said,would help the Ministry and other stakeholders formulate policies that will help enhance Agricultural transformation.

“GASIP has its main objective to sustainably reduce poverty in rural areas by increasing the profitability and resilience to climate change of agribusiness and smallholder farmers, “Mr Kudomor said.

He explained that the MoFA was able to achieve 86 per cent and12 per cent of the GASIP objective between 2015 and 2019 by supporting smallholder farmers, creating of shared values and opportunities within the value chains of rice, maize, soya and vegetables.

The GASIP, Mr Kudumor indicated, had also invested in the capacity building and training of smallholder farmers in Agricultural practices and Climate Change Resilient technologies which had led to an increased in smallholder farmers efficiency.

 In his presentation, Coordinator of FBO, Gabriel Owusumentioned that the ministry had documented policy strategies which when followed would help strengthen the extension delivery system through the involvement of key stakeholders and address multiple issues of interest to farmers and strengthen FBO’s true value food chain development.

Highlighting some objectives of the strategies, he said it was “to develop business oriented FBOs, promote the development of FBOs network capable of influencing agricultural input and outputs markets as well as agricultural-related policies and to promote public-private partnership bases and to strengthen functional collaboration among key actors in the FBO development process.

Mr Owusu added that the FBO strategies can support planting for food and jobs campaign by contracting farmers to produce and supply certified seed, produce quality produce to deliver to markers and processors and by effectively extending advisory services along the agriculture food chains.

BY CECILIA LAGBA & CONNIELOVE M. DZODZEGBE

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