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World Food Programme launches training for 1,330 small-holder farmer groups

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The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a nationwide training for 1,330 small-holder rice and maize farmer groups on best agricultural practices.

Mr Ismail Omer, the Country Director, said the goal is to aid them to maximize crop yield to sustain their livelihoods.

The beneficiaries are from the Tamale Metropolis, Ejura-Sekyedumase and Tolon-Kumbungu Districts.

The programme comes under the WFP’s Purchase for Progress Initiative (PPI) designed among other things to help reduce post-harvest losses, sensitize beneficiaries on the importance of collective marketing and the application of agronomic practices to achieve good quality produce.

He said this in a speech read for him at a workshop for the first batch of trainees at Ejura, made up of two small-holder maize farmer groups – the Christian Farmers and Nkosuo Farmers Associations.

Mr Omer said the farmers would additionally be exposed to record keeping and the WFP’s traditional local procurement rules and regulations.

They were taught the techniques for identifying good quality grain, seed selection, on-farm water management, weed control methods, fertilizer application site and field selection management and how to reduce post-harvest losses.

Mr Omer said 16 small-holder maize farmers in the Ejura-Sekyedumase District had been targeted for the training.

Mr Samuel Adjei, National Programme Officer of the PPI, said the training was being funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) with technical assistance from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ghana School Feeding Programme and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

He said the WFP was working vigorously to ensure that small-holder low-income farmers were provided with simple modern techniques to boost returns, achieve security and reduce hunger in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Mr Tomas Yeboah, Procurement Officer of the Initiative, advised the farmers to abreast of the new procurement modalities as per the guidelines of the initiative to facilitate the marketing of their produce.

These include competitive processes, direct and forward contracts and warehouse receipt system.

Source: GNA

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