Rice Improvement Project: 125 Farmers in Central Region receive training
The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Rice Value Chain (RVC) Improvement project in the Central Region has conducted a three-day Training of Leaders (ToL) workshop for rice farmers under the project.
The training was attended by 125 lead farmers from four communities, which were Afosua, Nuamakrom and Asamokrom in the Twifo Atti Mokwa District and Okyereko in the Gomoa East District, as well as five farmer-based organisations (FBOs) that attended the workshop.
Organised by the Benda Service Group, the workshop was one of the local capacity development strategies lined up to enhance the knowledge and practical skills of lead farmers, and also formed part of KOICA’s Capacity Improvement and Advancement for Tomorrow (CIAT) programme.
It was the third programme to be organised for farmers, bringing the number of trained farmers under the project to about 375 farmers.
In all, 400 farmer leaders would be equipped with knowledge and skills in improved rice cultivation technology and business skills on the rice value chain, to sharpen and improve the business skills and decisions of the FBOs and members.
The project was launched in June 2021 and will be implemented in five beneficiary districts in the Central Region, including Gomoa East, Assin Fosu, Assin North, Assin South and Twifo Atti-Morkwa.
The goal of the project is to improve the quality of life of rural farmers in the region by increasing production.
The Country Director of KOICA, Moonheon Kong, in his address said the RVCI project had a broader goal of increasing rice productivity and value among farmers in the targeted beneficiary districts of the Central Region.
He added that it was a value chain-oriented project and was formulated to take care of all activities along the value chain, from production through to post harvest management, processing and packaging, as well as marketing support.
He said as training and capacity development were important in every endeavour, the RVCI project design prioritised capacity development for the core stakeholders, ranging from senior government officials in charge of policy and technical agriculture officers, both at the national and sub national levels to farmers.
"It is our belief that as our partners get empowered through these capacity development programmes, they are better able to manage the achievements of the projects, thereby ensuring their sustainability," he stated.
Mr Kong further stated that the training of leaders session was not only tailored to suit the farmers’ capacity, but would also take into consideration, the relevant local context and all other trainings for their partners on the rice value improvement project.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to take the training seriously to derive the maximum benefits, which must translate into improved production and productivity on their rice fields.
He pledged KOICA’s continued support to the agricultural sector emphasising that KOICA would leverage on Korean technology and know-how, particularly in rice production, to help Ghana attain self-sufficiency in rice production by 2024/2025, as outlined by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
The Chief Executive Officer of Benda Services Group, the implementing Partner for the project, Ben Edusah, told the Daily Graphic the two earlier training programmes were for 24 machinery operators and 126 farmer leads.
The Project Manager, Dr Haegon Chung, admonished the farmers to take the knowledge acquired seriously and implement them for the desired impact.
He entreated the farmers to trust in the agriculture officers so that they could improve their rice cultivation skills.
The Central Regional Director of Agriculture, Dr Peter Omega, for his part said he was optimistic rice production in the region would improve significantly.