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World Vision Ghana organises agric market linkage fair at Paga

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World Vision Ghana (WVG) has organised an agriculture market linkage fair in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region for people in the agriculture sector to network and connect with buyers, suppliers, aggregators, and other stakeholders. The fair aimed to promote the growth of the agriculture sector in the district by facilitating the exchange of information and creating business opportunities. 

The event brought together farmers, agribusinesses, input dealers, government officials, and development partners who showcased their products and services. Farmers had the opportunity to learn about new farming techniques, technologies, and market trends. 

   World Vision Ghana’s Acting Regional Operations Manager for the Northern Sector, Sergious Before said his outfit decided to organise the fair to bridge a gap that exists between farmers, input dealers, service providers, processors, and consumers.

“Finding ways to improve value chains is very important for raising smallholders’ incomes. Without farmers being linked to markets they are condemned to produce only for subsistence and we all know that better markets for farmers can lift them out of poverty. To make this leap requires more knowledge, and many actors along the value chain to help supply this crucial ingredient. This agriculture market linkage fair will therefore help promote inclusive and efficient food systems that better integrate smallholder farmers and small and medium agribusinesses into value chains”, he stated.

Mr. Before implored key partners like the district assembly, and other sector players in agribusiness to come together to support the farmers to generate greater structural transformation in families.

The Agriculture Market Linkage Fair 2023 formed part of the Landscape and Environmental Agility across the Nation (LEAN) project that is funded by the European Union. The LEAN project which was launched on May 11, 2021, is implemented in Kassena-Nankana West and Damongo districts by a consortium of 4 local and international NGOs comprising The Rainforest Alliance, World Vision Ghana, Tropenbos Ghana, and EcoCare Ghana and aimed at promoting sustainable land and natural resource management practices in Ghana. 

Joseph Edwin Yelkabong, the LEAN Project Manager with World Vision Ghana speaking to the media said one of the key components of the project is sustainable agriculture, which involves promoting climate-smart farming practices and agroforestry.

“As we speak now, we have about 42 areas that we have designated as our Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) sites that we are working to regenerate naturally. We have also raised seedlings in the last two years and distributed them to farmers. In the Kassena-Nankana West District, for this year alone, we have distributed over 41,000 seedlings of assorted species.”

He mentioned that the project would support smallholder farmers in the above-mentioned district with alternative livelihoods such as beekeeping, ruminants, and simplified cloth weaving machines “to reduce their overly dependent on the environment for fuel wood and charcoal which destroys the environment” 

Mohammed Bukari, the KNW District Agriculture Director described it as worrying that most financial institutions are reluctant to provide loans to agricultural value chain rural entrepreneurs because of the perceived high risk in agricultural production and trading.

He indicated that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has recognized the challenges and as part of the measures to overcome the challenges of agricultural financing has been implementing programs and projects such as the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ ‘ Rearing for Food and Jobs’ ‘One District one warehouse’ among others to help relieve producers of some burden. 

The agriculture market linkage fair 2023 also included sensitization sessions on topics such as access to finance, value addition, and market dynamics. 

A participant, Frederick Wugaa Awovire from the Banyuno community in the Kassena-Nankana West District lauded World Vision Ghana’s FMNR project saying hitherto the implementation of the project, there were perennial bushfires in the community and farms were destroyed. 

“But they trained fire volunteers and for the past 3 years now, we have not witnessed bushfires in our community and through that, we have seen many tree species and our animals do not go far for grazing”

Another participant, Faustina Banakwoyem from the Batiu community commended the fair saying it provided her with the opportunity to learn, network, and access new markets, ultimately contributing to her overall economic development.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Paga|Ghana

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