Mr Clement Humado, Minister of Food and Agriculture says the Ministry plans to modernise the agricultural sector to provide food security, increase employment opportunities and reduce poverty.
Subsequently, Farmer Based Organisations (FBOs) have been promoted as one of the avenues to achieve the goal.
The Minister made this known to the Ghana News Agency after exchanging letters with the Australian High Commissioner for about one million Australian dollar support to the FBOs.
He noted that FBOs provide opportunities for farmers to benefit from economies of scale, better bargaining power and a stronger voice in policy development.
“Well organised FBOs promote farming as a business and linkage along the product value chain,” he added.
Mr Humado said Directorate of Agricultural Extension is collaborating with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), through the Australia-Africa Partnership Facility (AAPF) for assistance.
Through the collaboration a project has been designed to ensure efficient FBOs service delivery and increased access to services and markets along the agriculture value chain.
The Minister said the project have three components which are strongly related and reinforce each other.
Mr Humado said the support would be used to train agriculture extension staff in the 10 regions in agribusiness and farm management, agricultural value chain analysis and management, post harvest management and contemporary extension delivery methods.
Part of the fund would be used in strengthening the FBO secretariat to enable improved support to FBOs and coordination of FBOs.
The rest would be used to develop the capacity of selected apex bodies to improve their capacity to provide services to members.
The Minister said training of extension officers in the 10 regions would start immediately to focus on a market oriented approached to agriculture including modules on farm management, business skills and post harvest and modern production techniques.
AusAID support for the project under the AAPF is available until April 2014 with a mid-term review in mid 2013.