PThe Korea International Cooperative Agency (KOICA) has presented farming implements valued at 32,000 dollars to 11 farmer based organisations (FBOs) and farmer based co-operatives (FBCs) in the Upper East Region.
They included eight motorcycles and their trailers popularly known as Motor Kings, two multi-crop thrashers and a grinding mill.
The package, which forms part of the Capacity Development of FBOs/FBCs Project in northern Ghana, seeks to enhance the capacity of farmers in the five regions of northern Ghana to promote rural development as well as improve the quality of life of rural residents.
The farmer groups which benefited from the package were drawn from Bawku West, Bongo and Builsa North districts, Bolgatanga and Kassena-Nankana municipalities.
Briefing the media about the project during the presentation ceremony held at the forecourt of the Regional Coordinating Council on Saturday, the Project Operations Coordinator, Clement Wumlara Yakubu, said the project was jointly implemented by KOICA and Association of Church-Based Development NGOs (ACDEP), in partnership with the government through the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations with funding support from the government of the Republic of Korea through KOICA.
Apart from the beneficiary districts mentioned earlier, the project also covers the Garu, Bawku West and Talensi districts in the region.
He indicated that similar presentations were made to the farmer groups in the other districts who were empowered by the project to write proposals to compete for grants to undertake economic activities to help improve upon their livelihoods.
The team leader of KOICA FBC/FBOs Capacity Building Project, Cornelius Kuukaraa, on his part explained that apart from the groups being trained to write proposals for the grants, they are also empowered with the necessary business skills to go into viable economic ventures in addition to field monitoring to inspect progress of their businesses and to fill in the gaps.
“The three-year project which begun in 2017 and expected to end in 2020, builds farmers’ capacity to become viable and vibrant cooperatives. The project also monitors them to ensure that they implement all the plans and facilitate in their networking, market fair and market linkages,” he added.
The Regional Director of the Department of Cooperatives, Roland Anyana, said many of the FBOs and FBCs had grown their farming activities as businesses and now undertaking social activities such as donation of books to deprived schools in their respective jurisdictions
He admonished the groups to own the project and use the benefits accrued from their businesses judiciously to benefit others, particularly women and children.
Ms Vida Asim, one of the beneficiaries from the Bongo District, said the motorcycles would help them transport their produce from their farms to their homes and to the market to help reduce post-harvest losses
The Assistant Director of the RCC, Iddi Musah, who is the Regional Focal Person of Cooperatives, stood in for the Regional Minister to thank the donor and the implementing partners for the project, and for complementing government’s efforts to curb poverty in the area.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA