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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – October 27, 2014

2014 October 27
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Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Vitamin A Cassava Becoming Popular
The biofortified cassava, rich in vitamin A, is becoming widespread in Africa, driven by increasing awareness of its health and nutrition benefits. The variety is changing the description of cassava – a root crop often referred to as “Africa’s best kept secret.” According to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), cassava, consumed by over 300 million people in Africa, has been marginalized in many debates because of myths and half-truths about its nutritional value and role in farming systems. However, the greatest burden of the crop, the research institution says, is the stigma of being considered an inferior, low-protein food that is uncompetitive with glamorous crops, such as imported rice and wheat. “But the perception about cassava is changing…with vitamin A..

Cassava Cultivation in the Ada West District; A Viable Investment Opportunity
The Ada West District is fairly new, with a population of 59,124 as per the 2010 Population and Housing Census. Though the district is presently not a beneficiary of any class advantage in the area of commerce or industry, it has rich agricultural potentials in its wide stretch of fertile arable land that is ideal for the cultivation of various crops. The economy of the district is predominantly agrarian, with approximately 42.5 per cent of the population engaged in agriculture, forestry and fishing. The sector provides employment for about 42.5 percent of the people. Agriculture constitutes the main economic activity and a major source of livelihood for majority of people in the district through direct farming, distribution and marketing of farm produce and other services to the agricultural sector.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – October 20, 2014

2014 October 20
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Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Kufuor To Deliver Keynote Address On World Food Day
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will tomorrow be the keynote speakers at this year’s World Food Day in Rome. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said this year’s celebration on the theme “Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth”, seeks to stress in particular, the role of family farming in eradicating hunger, poverty and malnutrition and achieving sustainable development. A statement issued by the FAO and copied to the Ghana News Agency yesterday said the Committee on World Food Security would convene at the FAO headquarters near the Circus Maximus, from October 13-18, to discuss policies in relation to food losses and waste, and how sustainable fisheries could support food security and nutrition.

In lead-up to World Food Day, Canadian Hunger Foundation Launches $19 Million Project to Strengthen Food Security in Northern Ghana
The Canadian Hunger Foundation (CHF) launched a $19 million project today that will strengthen poor rural communities in Northern Ghana by increasing and diversifying what is produced on farms, building on existing sources of income, and establishing new income opportunities. Farming families will also be supported to become more resilient to climate change and to access better prices for their pro" For over fifty years now CHF has helped farmers to increase their access to the nutritious food they need, while also diversifying their incomes," says Stewart Hardacre, President and CEO of the Canadian Hunger Foundation.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – October 13, 2014

2014 October 13
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Cocoa Farmers Flock to Flagstaff House to Praise President Mahama Over Cocoa Price Increase
The President of the Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association, Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, has thanked President John Dramani Mahama for the new producer price of cocoa, which they describe as unprecedented.  Farmers of the cash crop clad in traditional cloth filled the meeting area at the Flagstaff House looking satisfied after Government last week announced a review of the producer price from GH¢3,392 to GH¢5,520 per tonne for the 2014 cocoa season. The increment represented a whopping 62.74% increase, and translates into GH¢345 per bag of 64kg of cocoa, and about 75% of the net FOB….“If your friend does something good, he deserves to be commended”…

Cocoa and Not Oil is Our Mainstay – President Mahama
President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday said contrary to the expectations of many, government will continue to invest heavily in agriculture especially cocoa. This he said is because, cocoa remains the key foreign exchange earner for the Ghanaian economy, and not oil. "The contribution of oil to our national budget last year was only US$700million. Cocoa brought US$3billion into our economy. So cocoa is still the mainstay of our economy and we must put our money where our mouths are", the President noted. "Every year we earn anything close to US$3billion on cocoa alone and yet people are more excited about oil. Ghana has discovered oil so our lives are going to change. Cocoa still affects our lives more than oil", Mr. Mahama said to loud applause from the cheering cocoa farmers.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – October 7, 2014

2014 October 7
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Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Government Increases Cocoa Producer Price by 62.74 per cent
The Government of Ghana Thursday increased the producer price of cocoa by 62.74 per cent.  Cocoa farmers in the country will now receive GH₵5,520 per tonne for the 2014/2015 crop season, up from the GH₵3,392 they got last year. The farmers would also be paid GH₵ 350 per 64kg bag for the 2014/2015 crop season. The government also announced that it would pay GH₵ 5.00 bonus per bag of cocoa to farmers in the 2014/2015 crop season. The move is expected to incentivize cocoa farmers and boost cocoa production in the country.

Ghana Signs Phase Two of WCFs Cocoa Livelihood Programme
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of Phase Two of WCF’s Cocoa Livelihood Programme (CLP). The WCF’s CLP programme started in 2009, and is operating in the four cocoa-producing countries of West Africa, namely, Ghana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria. The total funding of the programme for its 10-year lifespan, which is scheduled to end in February, 2018 is $70 million… Its objectives are to increase farm-level cocoa productivity to 1,000kg/ha, to improve service delivery efficiency including access to planting materials, fertilizer and agrochemicals, and improve farmer resilience through the production of food crops.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – September 29, 2014

2014 September 29
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Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agriculture Issue
Kufuor Advocates Effective Education on Climate Change
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday called on world leaders to scale up education on climate change as its neglect could have negative repercussions on survival. He said: "It does not really matter, whether developed, developing, or underdeveloped countries, all we need is to intensify education on this issue as our very survival depends on changes that we are experiencing on daily basis."… The former Ghanaian President said the survival of future generations could also hang in the balance if frantic efforts are not made to ensure compatibility of change and action. "Right now, farming, and agriculture in general depends heavily on climate and if we don't take lasting measures then coming generations could face serious avoidable calamities."

African Voices Must Count at UN Climate Change Conference in Paris
No nation is immune to the impact of climate change but it is the world’s poorest that will be hit the hardest. A fair and inclusive global agreement to combat climate change is a moral imperative. Time is of the essence for Africa. This week, world leaders gather in New York for the Climate Summit in an attempt to breathe new life into climate talks which are now approaching their 21st round…Persistent drought and flooding are already exacerbating food and water security, threatening livelihoods and health. Severe droughts in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel between 2011 and 2012 saw crops fail and livestock die, leaving 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

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