Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP) has held a validation workshop to formalise business engagement with farmer-based organisations (FBOs), and other agricultural value chain actors, and engage them in partnerships that enhance their productivity.
The move was also to facilitate market access for the FBOs and the value chain actors to increase their incomes in a sustainable manner.
It was in line with GASIP’s objectives to partner the critical drivers of the country’s agricultural sector such as smallholder farmers, FBOs, and agribusinesses to provide the enabling environment for higher productivity, expanded profitability and sustainable market linkages.
A number of FBOs and agricultural value chain drivers from the northern part of the country took part in the workshop held in Tamale on Thursday.
Mr Klutse Kudomor, National Programme Coordinator of GASIP, who made a presentation during the workshop, lauded the contributions of smallholder farmers to the development of the country’s agricultural sector hence GASIP’s move to enhance their productivity.
Mr Kudomor emphasised that “Over the years, the smallholder farmer has played a pivotal role in ensuring food security and incomes for their families and the country, a role they will continue to play in Ghana’s economy. GASIP is, therefore, targeting these groups of farmers in a structured manner by partnering them to increase their productivity, and facilitating their access to market”.
Specific crop value chains such as maize, rice, soya, cassava and vegetables are of priority due to their role in providing food security, income generation, import substitution, and usage in the downstream industry such as poultry and the breweries.
The GASIP approach and the priority crop value chains are also consistent with the government’s flagship agricultural programme-Planting for Food and Jobs.
Mr Kudomor said similar workshops would be held in the middle and the southern sectors of the country adding the youth and women were of specific interest to GASIP urging them to proactively participate in the programme to enable them to have sustainable jobs and incomes.
Mr Theophilus Larbi, Country Programme Officer of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) assured that IFAD would continue to partner GASIP to ensure that its objectives of enhancing the productivity and livelihoods of smallholder farmers were attained.
Ms Alberta Afriyie-Mensah, Business Development Executive of Farmertribe, an agricultural value chain actor, lauded the workshop saying GASIP’s objectives for the agricultural sector would help increase food production, ensure food security and improve incomes for farmers.
GASIP is an IFAD and Government of Ghana funded programme to improve agricultural production and incomes for farmers.