Forty thousand maize and soybean farmers in the country are to benefit from a training program to help them produce quality maize and soybean not only for the Ghanaian market but also for export.
The farmers will also benefit from good agronomic practices and post harvest handling. The training program will be conducted by the USAID ADVANCE Program in collaboration with the Ghana Grains Council.
The Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement, ADVANCE Program is supported by USAID/GHANA. The project is a key part of the Feed the Future Initiative in Ghana and working to reach 113,000 maize, rice and soybean small holder farmers to achieve greater food security in Ghana.
Speaking at the first Southern Ghana farmers and buyers event in Kumasi, the Chief of Party of USAID ADVANCE PROGRAMS, Dr. Emmanuel Dormon, explained that the second phase of the Program began in February 2014 and will end in September 2018.
The goal is to improve the competiveness of the maize, rice and soybean value chains. However the agricultural program in the South began in mid 2014 with maize in parts of the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern Regions.
Currently the Program according to Dr Dormon works with 66 maize commercial farmers in the South, who support 6,578 small holder farmers. The target is to reach 13,000 farmers in the south before September 2018.
He expressed worry that despite the significant improvement in farm yields, there is a great deal of work to be done on improving the quality of maize and soybean as well as processed products derived from these commodities.
Dr Dormon was hopeful that after the training on quality, imports of maize and soybean from Togo, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Russia and Ukraine on the bases of quality will be reduced.
The Southern Ghana Pre-Harvest Event brought together farmers, buyers, processors and other stakeholders in the value chain to interact and network to expand their businesses.