OCP Africa has organised a 4-day training programme for 200 Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) and Aggregators in Bono East, Upper East, Upper West, North East, Ashanti, Oti and Eastern Regions.
The programme, which was part of the agribooster programme, was within the framework of a partnership agreement between OCP Africa and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in September 2019.
A statement from OCP Africa, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the training was aimed at building capacities of the AEAs in line with OCP Africa’s 2020 Agribooster Campaign.
The training enlightened participants on tools and skills on farmer dynamics, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), farming as a business (Business skills), post-harvest operations, and marketing of harvested crops among others.
Country Manager of OCP Africa Ghana, Mr Samuel Oduro, said: “Aside the provision of farm inputs in the agribooster programme, we at OCP Africa believe the success of the programme partly depends on building the knowledge base of Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs), who will transfer the knowledge gained to small-holder farmers.”
He said women in the OCP Africa agribooster programme had also supported about 5000 women small-holder farmers, cultivating maize and rice with 1,250 metric tonnes of improved fertilizers, land preparation services and agricultural transformation equipment, with expected yield of 5000 metric tons.
Ashanti Regional Director, MoFA, Reverend John Manu, said: “The dynamism in the agricultural landscape and the impact of COVID-19 on agriculture makes this training programme very vital for Extension Agents and farmer Aggregators in the country.”
“Our partnership with OCP Africa has been very fruitful and beneficial and I believe the agricultural industry, especially small-holder farmers will be positively impacted in the midst of COVID-19, he added.
The statement said the 2019 Agribooster Campaign trained 87 extension officers, 400 lead farmers and 42,605 smallholder farmers on Good Agricultural Practices.
Additionally, 3,700 metric tonnes of NPK fertilizers were supplied to 14,800 smallholder farmers, cultivating a total of 37,000 acres.
It said their yields increased from 1.8 metric tonnes per hectare to 2.6 metric tonnes, representing an increase of 44 per cent.
OCP Africa, established in 2016, as a subsidiary of OCP Group, aims to contribute to the development of integrated agricultural ecosystems in Africa.
It works hand in hand with farmers to help grow the agricultural potential of the African continent through solutions adapted to local conditions and to the needs of soils and crops.
In partnership with a network of partners, including governments, non-profit organisations, and companies, OCP Africa works continuously to put all the necessary conditions for the benefit of farmers.
OCP Africa is present in many African countries through the opening of subsidiaries and/or representative offices in Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Benin, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and Rwanda.
It is also helping to secure the production of competitive fertilizers near major agricultural pools, to strengthen its logistical capacities and to develop new local distribution networks.