The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in collaboration with the Canadian government has launched a GH¢2.5million programme to support Women Farmer-Based Organisations (WFBOs) engaged in post-production in Ghana.
The initiative would see 32 WFBOs benefit from the purchase and installation of agro-processing equipment, and also build their capacity in the operation and maintenance of the machinery at no cost.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Director of the MoFA, Mr Robert Patrick Ankobea said that, the programme was to enhance the capacity of the beneficiaries, make them competitive and also position them to export their products.
“This support aims to strengthen the capacities of the WFBOs to make their products more competitive and attractive for local and exports markets,” he said.
He added that, timing of the initiative was appropriate as the government was finding innovative ways to revamp the economy, which was affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Agriculture plays an important role in the economy and due to some of the measures to contain the virus affected the production activities. This is a good opportunity to support the sector to be effective and boost the sector,” he said.
The Chief Executive of Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Service (GRATIS) Foundation, Mr Kofi Adjei Ntim said, the foundation would design and develop appropriate processing equipment for commodities such as cassava, oil palm, maize, and rice.
At the short ceremony in Accra on Friday, the Development Officer at the GAC, Mr Majeed Mohammed, said “the project supports the objective of the mechanising agriculture in Ghana programme, which has seen the Canadian government provide a CAD$135 million to improve food security and foster agricultural growth in the country.”
He said women played a vital role in the agriculture value chain, yet they face numerous challenges along the value chain.
Mr Mohammed also noted that, the support was in line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, which was aimed at empowering women to eradicate poverty and build a more inclusive and prosperous world.
On behalf of the beneficiaries, Ms Naomi Ayoba of the Ashaiaman WFBO expressed their appreciation to Canadian government and MoFA for the support, indicating that it would enhance their productivity.
The occasion also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MoFA and the GRATIS Foundation, the implementation agency of the project, whilst the second was signed between MoFA and the WFBOs.
BY FRANCIS NTOW