WFP supports participation of 200 farmers in pre-harvest exhibition

BY: Maclean Kwofi
 Ms Rukia Yacoub (right) exchanging a memorandum of understanding with ­Ms Alberta Akosa
 Ms Rukia Yacoub (right) exchanging a memorandum of understanding with ­Ms Alberta Akosa Ms Rukia Yacoub (right) exchanging a memorandum of understanding with ­Ms Alberta Akosa Ms Rukia Yacoub (right) exchanging a memorandum of understanding with ­Ms Alberta Akosa

The World Food Programme (WFP) has entered a partnership agreement with Agrihouse Foundation to help it host this year's Pre-harvest Exhibition and Conference in Tamale.

Under the partnership, the WFP is providing about $75,000 as financial and technical support for farmers and agro-processors to expand their business opportunities.

The Representative and Country Director of WFP, Ms Rukia Yacoub, at a press briefing in Accra, observed that the partnership was to foster the growth of Ghana's agricultural sector and generally improve food and nutrition security.

She indicated that the eighth pre-harvest event was aimed at expanding businesses and forging new partnerships to promote the growth of Ghana’s agricultural sector.

“The WFP has participated in some previous pre-harvest events. We sponsored hundreds of smallholder farmers enrolled in the Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative. Our participation this year will, thus, not be new but on a larger scale due to the current focus area of our support in Ghana,” the country director indicated.

For the upcoming event scheduled for October 3 to 5, 2018 in Tamale, she explained that the WFP plans would sponsor the participation of 200 farmers from the three northern regions, the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.

Ms Yacoub stated that during the three-day event, the WFP would lead discussions on the importance and the role of supply chains in food systems and agribusiness, focusing on specialised nutritious foods.

She added that the WFP would lead discussions on sustainable agricultural warehousing and storage, post-harvest management and food safety and quality standards.

“Smallholder farmers will get the opportunity to learn about new innovations and technologies, participate in trainings, exhibitions, field demonstrations and market linkages.

“The WFP looks forward to working with all stakeholders for the transformation of agribusiness  into a more inclusive, equitable, climate smart sector, oriented towards the improvement of the lives of rural poor and vulnerable people,” she added.

MEL Consulting support

At a separate press conference, MEL Consulting Limited also announced plans to support this year’s pre-harvest event.

MEL Consulting Limited is a development and business management consultancy company with the aim of providing consultancy services to public, private and civil society organisations.

The Director of External Relations of the MEL Consulting Limited, Ms Lucy Quainoo, said the decision to support the event was influenced by its quest to help grow Ghana’s agricultural sector.

“We saw the event as an opportunity for us to showcase some of our operations, which included facilitating activities along the agricultural value chain,” she added.

Appreciation by organisers     

For her part, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Ms Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, thanked the entities for the support and the effort in assisting this year’s event.

She observed that the event, which would be held between October 3 and 5, 2018 in Tamale, was by far the largest gathering of value chain actors and agribusinesses.

This year’s programme will create an avenue for farmers to discuss and exchange business ideas on increasing yields of crops such as maize, rice and soybean.

She urged stakeholders to participate and use the opportunity to network and explore business opportunities.