GTLC educates small-holder farmers on Agriculture Sector Investment Plan

Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition, a nationwide advocacy organization, striving for agriculture and trade justice, has held a two-day capacity building workshop for small-holder farmers in Ho and Koforidua.

It was to shape their understanding on some aspects of government’s agriculture policy framework for the period 2011-2015 and how they could tap into the opportunities it offered.

The workshop for members in the Southern Zone and Middle Belt aimed to provide the participants a holistic orientation to the Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) and how the small holder farmers could tap into it to create wealth, enhance incomes and reduce poverty.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency after the two workshops in Ho and Koforidua, Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, Coordinator of GTLC, said after years of advocacy, it was important to get members to enhance their knowledge on positioning themselves to take advantage of various government’s initiatives to transform their trade and to deal with the various situations.

He said the workshops centred on educating the farmers on how to access some of these facilities rather than sitting on the fringes.

On the METASIP, Mr Akalbila said government had spelt out various interventions aimed to improve technology use among smallholder farmers to increase yields.

There are also programmes to reduce poverty and create wealth through diversification into cash crops and livestock and value addition.

Mr Akalbila said putting all these knowledge to the smallholder farmers should spur them on to demand from the duty-bearers support for their work.

While admitting that the available resource would not permit support for all smallholder farmers, he said, those who position themselves well especially with viable business plans could get support from the government and the private sector.

However, Mr Akalbila said it would take a gradual approach to get all smallholder farmers to appreciate the need for a good and viable business plan and this explained the reason why as part of the workshop a session was devoted to discussing the elements of a business plan and how it facilitates access to resources from both public and private sector to improve on their farming business operations.

On its part, the GTLC is in the process of helping smallholder farmers develop business plans that will open up more and better opportunities from Government and the private sector and also enhance their political and economic empowerment.

Participants were also taken through the unveiling the value chain for better awareness, production, handling and increased patronage of local products.

Source: GNA

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