A 300 metric tons capacity warehouse has been inaugurated in Ejura by the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide storage for 17 Farmer-based Organisations (FBOs) in the Ejura-Sekyedumase Municipality in the Ashanti Region.
More than 900 farmers from the FBOs and other stakeholders are estimated to benefit directly from the storage facility, which is capable of storing 6,000 bags of 50 kilogrammes bags of grain.
The facility which is fitted with electric platform weighing scale, 50kg standard test weight, wikibag stitching machine, sewing thread, baraki rodenticide, rodent bait boxes, fumigation sheets, grain moisture content metre among others, is expected to address the post-harvest losses and challenges faced by smallholder farmers in the area.
The facility has been designed such that, farmers would be able to dry, clean, sort, bag, bulk, aggregate and store their grains.
Addressing a durbar of chiefs and people in Ejura, the Country Director of WFP, Ms Rukia Yacoub, noted that, the facility represented a shift in a kind of support the WFP provided for the people and the government of Ghana under the new WFP Country Strategic Plan from 2019 to 2023.
She indicated that, the facility was in fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goal two, which sought to end all forms of hunger, achieve food security and improve food nutrition by the year 2030.
Ms Yacoub explained that, the project was funded by the Canadian government through its Purchase for Progress and Enhanced Nutrition and Value Chain (ENVAC) Programmes.
She stated that, the facility would provide a platform for farmers to participate in structured trading with the Ghana Commodity Exchange and its associated Warehouse Receipt System.
Ms Yacoub disclosed that, three independent and complimentary entities, including a nine-member management board, operation team, and audit committee have been set up to oversee the management of the facility.
A representative of the 17 FBOs, Ms Grace Ibrahim, commended WFP and the Canadian government for their continuous support for smallholder farmers in the area as they assured of good management of the facility.
The group, then, appealed to government to see to the full enforcement of weight and measures in the commodity markets that would ensure equity and fairness in the buying and sale of farm produce.
Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Madam Elizabeth Agyeman, reiterated the government’s commitment in improving the agricultural sector through modules like the Planting for Food and Jobs, Rearing for Food and Jobs (PFJ), among others.
She indicated that, through the PFJ programme, the government was able to transport cassava and maize to other African countries last year.
Ms Agyeman assured the famers that, the government would soon complete two extra warehouses in Ejura under the government’s Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme.
FROM FAUSTINA KWABEA OSEI, EJURA-SEKYEDUMASE