About 700 maize, rice and soya bean farmers and other actors in the grains and legumes value chain have met at a day’s forum in Tamale in the Northern Region.

The farmers were drawn from the Northern, Eastern and Western regions. The forum was aimed establishing market linkages to enhance efficiency in the agric industries.

It was hosted by the Ghana Grains Council. 

The forum formed part of the fourth annual Northern Ghana pre-harvest Agribusiness forum, which brought together farmers, buyer’s processors transporters, input dealers and financial institutions.

The event which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE 11) and implemented by ACDI Agricultural Technology Transfer and the Northern rural growth programme among others is to enable the actors to learn and share ideas on the seasons, production outlook, identify critical actions to build competitive businesses and establish firm marketing relationships for the forthcoming cereal harvest.

The event was on the theme: ‘’Connect and Collaborate to Succeed’’.

Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in-charge of Crops, Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, commended the organizers of the forum, saying it held enormous benefits for rural farmers, as they linked with market dealers to find ready markets for their produce.

He urged farmers and other actors in the agribusiness industry, to deepen their linkages to improve agricultural production in the country.

‘’There is no country in the world that has developed its economy without agriculture including the United States of America that is facilitating this forum so when we say agriculture must be the bedrock of Ghana economy we mean exactly that, so if there is a project that is bringing the key stakeholders together it must be encouraged", Dr Alhassan.

USAID Mission Director  Jim Bever said the forum will play a critical role in transforming the country’s agriculture sector, lifting people out of poverty, and reducing under-nutrition across the north or the country.

Managing Director of GGC Dr Godwin Ansah, said the forum had emerged as one of the finest events in the country’s agricultural industry, adding the cohesion brought about by the event will make a significant impact in driving the attractiveness and resilience of the grains value chain in Ghana.

In related development Dupont, an international organization that deals with issues related to agricultural development, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched a collaborative programme that will boost maize production among smallholder farmers and help to increase their incomes.

The initiative, which involves an investment of more than US$4 million over the next four years, started in July 2014.

Known as the Ghana Advanced Maize Seed Adoption Program (GAMSAP), the programme is modelled on a similar one undertaken in Ethiopia by ACDI/VOCA, the implementing organization in Ghana.