National

Major boost for maize farmers

Maize farmers in the Brong Ahafo Region can now have value for their products following the commissioning of a certified warehouse receipt center at Nkoranza, a farming community in the region.

The facility came into existence as a result or the collaborative effort between the Ghana Grains Company Limited (GGCL) and ACDI/VOCA, a consortium of local and international partners with specialty in agricultural development.

Valued at 500,000 dollars, the facility, which has the capacity to accommodate 10,000 mini bags of maize, was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement Programme.

The ADVANCE programme is aimed at implementing policies geared towards the enhancement of agriculture in developing countries.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Emmanuel Mantey, Executive Director of GGCL, said the project will particularly help small-holder farmers lo avoid selling their grain at the usually low Prices.

He noted that the facility will again provide consumers with safer and more nutritious food and allow market actors to engage in transactions without the need to travel long distances to check on grain quality before buying.

Mr. Mantey said that apart from the facility ensuring the continuous supply of quality maize all year round it will serve as a pilot for other West African countries to increase the volume and value of intra-regional trade and enhance overall food security.

He pointed out that with the establishment of the project, which will be replicated across the country in due course, farmers who deposit their products can use their receipts as collateral for bank loans.

According to the GGCL Executive Director, the managers of the facility who are well trained in grain management will not only receive deposits from farmers but will provide technical assistance to enable farmers increase their yield.

A representative of ACDI/VOCA, John B. Railey, said his outfit was delighted to be a contributor towards the transformation of the country’s agriculture through increased competitiveness in local, regional and international markets.

He said the private sector-managed, market-driven grain-warehousing receipting system is a cornerstone of the ADVANCE programme’s strategy to facilitate the growth of a competitive and resilient maize value in the country.

Mr. Railey noted that his outfit was working assiduously to bring stakeholders together in a mutually beneficial business relationship to build trust and foster investment and innovation, including the effective use of modern farming technologies.

Mr. AlIen Fremin, a representative of USAID, also expressed delight about the project, stressing that the facility will not only reduce poverty but will improve the nutrition requirement of maize consumers in the country.

Stressing on the importance of farming, the USAID representative encouraged farmers in the country to venture into large scale farming, pointing out that his outfit will continue to support beneficial projects like the warehousing receipt center.

Source: Daily Guide

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