Members of the Baka-Wero Smallholder Farmers Association in Wiiro Community in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region have been provided with a warehouse facility to help address post-harvest losses.

The GHC750,000 Ghana cedis project has a solar mechanized borehole, a reservoir and a five acre fenced area to be used for dry season farming; a gesture the farmers believed would boost their incomes and provide cover for them against the lean season.

The Wiiro Community project is under the four million euro Sustainable Maize Programme; a five-year Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme jointly implemented by Solidaridad West Africa and Masara N’ARZIKI Farmers Association with funding from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It seeks to strengthen the farm management skills and market position of 12,000 farmers and introduce more resilient and ecologically balanced cropping systems.

It has activities such as expanding and strengthening farmer organisations; capacity building on conservation farming for maize- based cropping systems; technical support for harvest and post-harvest treatment; and establishment of financial scheme for farmers as well as advocacy and gender balance.
The project is also aimed at contributing to poverty alleviation and gender equality in the region.

Mr. Issaka Gyamfi, Regional Director, Solidaridad West Africa at a handing over ceremony at Wiiro, called for high level commitment from the farmers such that their achievement with the project could attract them more support from other organisations.

He stressed on good leadership that would ensure the growth of the association, saying the three organisations were prepared to help them to achieve their dream but that it could only happen if they were ready to work hard.

Mr. Peter te Kulve, Director of Operations, Masara N’ARZIKI said seven warehouses would be constructed under the project with similar facilities and five of them would be located in the Upper West Region, while the other two would be built in the Northern Region.

He explained that the project was about maize production and the practice of climate smart agriculture such that farmers could profit even more from their lands in the future.
Mr. Jan Van Saane, Project Advisor, Netherlands Enterprise Agency mentioned sustainable entrepreneurship and food security as the two most important elements of the project which were being implemented in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
He explained that the policy of the government of the Netherlands was to change from aid to trade such that farmers would produce high quality food stuff for both the local and international market.

Mr. Cosmos Wibonto, President of the Baka-Wero Farmers Association thanked Solidaridad and partners for the support, giving the assurance that he would encourage many of his colleagues who had run to the southern sector of the country in search of menial jobs to come back home and take advantage of the project.

He said farmers in the area were much eager to engage in the dry season farming and appealed for the extension of the fence, the creation of an additional mechanized borehole to increase the quantity of water to support the large number of people who would be interested in joining the Association for the dry season farming.

Officials of Solidaridad, Masara N’ARZIKI and the members of the Baka-wero Farmers association posed for a shot in front of the warehouse after the inauguration.

Source: GNA


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