Some women groups in the Upper East Region have been trained so that they can add value to locally produce food material. This is to help the women expand their productive capacity and improve household incomes.
Alhaji Zakaria Fuseini, the Upper East Regional Director of Agriculture said this when he spoke at the celebration of the 38th Annual Farmers’ Day in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital.
He explained that the activities carried out in the various municipalities and districts across the region give meaning to this year’s agenda for the celebration, “Accelerating Agricultural Development through Value Addition.”
“The Canadian government has provided logistical support to agriculture in Ghana over the past 5 years through the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme. The prioritised areas of MAG are strengthening market linkages, value addition and activities that can generate various forms of income. The various municipality and district departments of agriculture have successfully carried out a number of training of the relevant areas including training of women groups in the utilisation of soya into kebabs, milk and koose; and agra rice into maasa across the region.”
“Again, let me also indicate that in this region, MAG supported 3 women FBOs with processing equipment to add value to their shea butter processing activities,”he said.
Other women groups were supported with machines for rice production to help improve the quality of milled rice. Alhaji Fuseini recognised the role other private investors had played in adding value to locally produced agricultural products.
Meanwhile, the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, (PFJ), according to the MCE for Bolgatanga, Rex Asanga, is an epitome of successful implementation of a government programme.
“The Planting for Food and Jobs teaches us that as a country, we should learn to adopt consistent and pragmatic policies and programmes if we are to be successful in resolving the myriad of challenges that face our agricultural sector.”
Speaking at the same ceremony, the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu called on private investors and organisations to invest in adding value to agricultural products before taking them out of the region.
“Our path to self-reliance as a region is value addition in agriculture. We are privileged to be endowed with arable lands and water resources to improve productivity. The Upper East Region is one the regions in Ghana that is fortunate to have the most water resources in this country. For us to effectively harness these resources, we need the contest of value-added agriculture rather than sending our farm products in the raw state for the economic and social transformation of our communities. It is against this background that private investors must partner the government on the industralisation drive; One District one Factory policy. Government cannot do it alone.”
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana