The two-day retreat and capacity building workshop in Accra was for WAFM’s stakeholders from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria who are involved in value chain activities of sorghum, millet, maize and cassava as well stakeholders who are promoting regulatory and policy reforms in food trade among these countries.
“The overall objective of the retreat was to build the capacity of agribusinesses-beneficiaries of WAFM Challenge Fund Grants, in the four focus countries of the project and policy influencers in addressing the challenges of food insecurity and trade,” it said in a press release copied to ghanabusinessnews.com.
The release indicates that the WAFM Challenge Fund Grantees are involved in production, processing, warehousing, distribution and cross-border trade of sorghum, millet, maize and cassava across two major trading corridors: Ghana-Burkina Faso and Nigeria-Niger.
“WAFM is contributing to boosting the purchasing power and the resilience of farmers and people to hunger and malnutrition in targeted countries”, Dr. Terence Lacey, the WAFM Team Leader was quoted as saying.
“There is the need to increase food production, improve agricultural value chains to ensure smooth trade on the major transit trade corridors and with particular attention to Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs),” he added.
Mr. Akinyinka D. Akintunde, the Business Development Manager at the Nigerian-based AFEX Commodities Exchange, viewed the retreat as timely due to the current proactive approach being embraced by the WAFM Programme.
Dr Marie Bationo, the Managing Director of Amya Agro Plus Ltd. said, “we are already exporting gari to Burkina Faso, but with this great opportunity WAFM is giving to us through their grant, we are planning to expand our production to include other product lines. As agribusiness woman involved with cassava, this retreat is very important for us.”
WAFM is a UKaid/Department For International Development (DFID) funded project to address food insecurity and enhance staple food trade along the Ghana-Burkina Faso and Nigeria-Niger corridors.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi