The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has injected US$201,215 (GH¢925,589) into the construction of ten 100mt capacity warehouses, as well as the rehabilitation of a 1000mt capacity warehouse and construction of 11 fenced drying-platforms to relieve the plight of smallholder farmers in the country.
The Crop Aggregation Centres (CAC) for smallholder farmers in the selected areas are to help improve crop storage and reduce post-harvest losses for the smallholder farmers, as well complement efforts of government in the ‘One District One Warehouse’ (ODOW) initiative.
In addition to the structures, weighing scales, pallets, tarpaulins, moisture meters and hermetic storage bags (PICS bags) have been provided to each of the CACs to ensure that proper storage technologies are adopted at the facilities, to whip-up the interest of farmers and the youth to stay in agribusiness and increase production.
This came to light at the inauguration of the 100 metric tonne storage facility for smallholder farmers at Pagaza in the Mion district of the Northern Region.
The warehouses are being built in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern and Brong-Ahafo Regions, with funding from United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food for Progress programme (FFP) and a group of universities led by Kansas State University.
The aim is to build downstream value chain capacity for Ghana’s agriculture sector, specifically strengthening market linkages for locally produced maize and soybean commodities utilised in feed and poultry production.
The five-year project is being implemented by a consortium made up of ADRA, ASA/WISHH, under the Assist in the Management of Poultry and Layer Industries with Feed Improvements and Efficiency Strategies (AMPLIFIES) initiative.
AMPLIFIES has so far constructed 10 new 100mt storage facilities and rehabilitated a 1000mt capacity one at Sang – with nine out of the 10 facilities and the 1000mt capacity warehouse to store over 10,000 maize bags of 100kg, all located in the Northern Region.
According to the Chief of Party for AMPLIFIES-Ghana, Ligaya Diaz, the project is to help promote the production of quality grains locally; and also help the beneficiary and surrounding communities to aggregate, properly store and sell their grains to generate enough revenue.
“It is also a testament to the of the Northern Region’s importance as a major grain producing and breadbasket region of Ghana,” she added.
The Country Director for ADRA, Dr. William N.K. Brown, said the initiative was to help farmers and aggregators in the north to sell tons of maize and soybeans to poultry farmers and poultry feed processors in the south at very good prices.
An operating manual has also been developed and given to the CAC committee members to ensure smooth operations.
He expressed hope that the beneficiary farmers and various CAC Management Committees will work together and take very good care of the facilities by ensuring good maintenance.