Farmer-based organisations (FBOs) in the East Mamprusi District have been equipped with the appropriate entrepreneurial and productivity skills in agri-business to pursue farming as a commercial venture as against subsistence.
The week-long training, which ended at Gambaga, covered four modules – Farming as a Business, Enterprise Selection Process, Farm Business Risk Analysis and Management, and Farm Produce Aggregation and Marketing.
Twenty male and 20 female farmers representing 10 FBOs participated in the training. It was organised by Community Empowerment and Development System, Ghana (CEDS-Ghana) with support from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC Fund), and funded by United States Agency for International Development, the European Union and DANIDA.
It was on the theme: “Strengthening the Entrepreneurial and Productivity Skills of Farmers in FBOs in Agri-business Dynamics for Improved Income and Livelihoods”.
The Head of Programmes, CEDS-Ghana, Eric Danyuam Bandim, said quality farm produce aggregation would enable FBOs to negotiate with produce buying companies for premium prices for their commodities.
Mr Bandim gave the assurance that CEDS-Ghana would continue to scout and connect beneficiary farmers and their FBOs with major produce buying companies to increase their income through profitable sales and purchasing agreements to sustain the programme.
He appealed to the leadership of the FBOs to encourage their members to develop a savings’ culture with credible financial institutions in the District to make them credit worthy to attract loans for the expansion of their businesses.
A Field Monitor of BUSAC Fund, Bukari Moro, said the era when physical facilities and hand-outs were provided to beneficiaries had changed towards skills development and knowledge transfer to ensure sustainable approach to poverty reduction.
He said, it was necessary to reverse the statistics of poverty in the northern part of the country, hence the training.
A member of Surugu Farmers Association, Saada Abukari, lauded the training, saying it came at the right time as the knowledge gained would help in lowering their cost of doing business to maximize profit.
She was enthused to use the farm commodity aggregation as a bargaining strategy in securing premium prices for her produce.