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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – August 22, 2016

2016 August 22
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on agriculture in Africa:

Media Reports
Ghana to Host World Groundnut Researchers in Tamale
The annual meeting for the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab, which is made up of scientists and student researchers working through the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Feed the Future program to improve food security and profits for producers, processors and marketers of groundnut, will gather scientists from Africa, the United States and Haiti in Tamale on Wednesday August 18 to share information about the latest developments in groundnut research.  The scientists, numbering about 60 in all would visit research plots and farms as they make stops in Tamale, Accra and Kumasi. In a statement issued in Tamale and copied to the GNA by the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) said the project in Ghana conducts research on groundnuts from the farm to the market to consumers’ tables saying “research starts even before the seeds are planted in the ground, testing which types of seeds will produce the safest and greatest yields in Ghanaian fields”.

Two Give to Cocoa Farmers
Agroecom Ghana Ltd (Amajaro), a leading cocoa-buying company in the country in collaboration with Lindt, a chocolate manufacturing company in Switzerland have provided free farming inputs to over 41 cocoa farmers aimed at helping them to improve on their farming activities. The items which cost GH¢2 million comprised sprayers, wellington boots, machetes and clothing for farm work. The inputs which were supplied at a ceremony held at Bonsu-Nkwanta in the Dwaboso District in the Western Region was on the theme, “Cocoa Sustainability - a key to improving farmers’ productivity and livelihood,” and  was directed at showing appreciation to the farmers who have shown commitment in sustaining cocoa cultivation and production in the country.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – August 15, 2016

2016 August 15
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on agriculture in Africa:

Media Reports
Ghana Announces GH¢4 Million as Premium for Cocoa Farmers
Olam Ghana, a leading supply chain manager of agri-products and one of Ghana’s biggest cocoa buying agencies, has announced the payment of GH₡ 4 million in premiums to cocoa farmers for the 2015/2016 season at a cocoa farmers’ durbar at Mumuni, near Samreboi in the Amenfi West District of the Western Region. The durbar attracted more than 1,000 cocoa farmers from all the cocoa growing regions in the country. The amount represents a 100 per cent increase over the total premium of GH₡ 1.9 million paid to farmers last year. The premiums, popularly known as bonuses, are paid to deserving farmers for selling certified cocoa beans to the company, based on premium grading by cocoa buyers on the international market.

Local Cashew Processors Face Competition from Exporters
The 3rd edition of the master training programme on cashew value chain brought together over 70 cashew experts from the producing countries of the sub-region to discuss best practices and lessons learnt as well as to build national and regional networks for future collaboration. The programme afforded participants the platform to share industry experiences from experts from countries including Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, Togo and Nigeria to share knowledge. The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan addressing the programme mentioned that local cashew processors are unable to obtain adequate supplies of raw materials for processing due to intensive competition with purchases by exporters of raw cashew nuts at the farm gate, resulting in the closure of nine primary processing units out of thirteen with total installed processing capacity of 65,890 metric tonnes. He indicated that plans are very much advanced in respect of the establishment of a regulatory board for the cashew sub-sector in Ghana and very soon approval will be given for the commencement of its activities.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – August 8, 2016

2016 August 8
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on agriculture in Africa:

Media Reports
SEND-Ghana Launches Food Security Project Report
SEND-Ghana was established in 1998 in the eastern corridor of the Northern Region with the ultimate goal of combating illiteracy, desertification, food insecurity and to ensure small holder farmers’ access to sustainable credit. The organization in partnership with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Credit Union Association (CUA) is operating in eight districts within the eastern corridor of the Northern Region. The Food Security through Cooperatives in Northern Ghana (FOSTERING) project was implemented to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers and farmer based organizations. The comprehensive report dubbed, “Closing funding gaps in agriculture: implications for food security in rural Ghana” was officially launched in Tamale. In line with the organization’s Food Security through Cooperatives in Northern Ghana (FOSTERING) project, the report highlighted three thematic areas comprising food security, rural agriculture and agriculture finance.

Mainstream Child Nutrition, Food Security Issues in Long-term Development Plan
At the launch of a report dubbed “Cost of Hunger in Africa” (COHA) under the auspices of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), with collaboration from the World Food Programme (WFP), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and the United Nations’ (UN) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), speakers suggested the mainstreaming of child nutrition and food security issues into the long-term national development plan. Speaking at the event, the Vice Chairperson of NDPC, Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, said issues of food security and malnutrition ought to be considered as a national development challenge rather than a health issue. “Eliminating stunting is not an option but an imperative issue, because stunted children today mean a stunted economy,” she said. She made reference to the COHA report and observed that stunting had a negative effect on educational attainment, human resource development and the productivity of the labour force. In that regard, she called on all stakeholders and government agencies to adopt a holistic approach to improve child nutrition and food security.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – August 2, 2016

2016 August 2
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on agriculture in Africa:

Media Reports
EPA Distributes 100,000 Tree Seedlings
As part of the “Greening Ghana Project” which is being implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the EPA, the Upper East Regional Directorate of the Environmental Protection Agency, has begun the distribution of 100,000 assorted tree seedlings to traditional councils and schools in the Region. The seedlings included Mahogany, Moringa, Albizia, Grilicidia, Sepium, Cassia Papao, Cashew, rosewood among others. The Regional Director, who is also, the National Focal Person in Ghana for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), said the project is aimed at increasing the vegetative cover and restoring the degraded areas of the region.

Over 70 Cashew Experts and Producers meet in Brong Ahafo
A training program organized by the Competitive Cashew initiative (ComCashew) in partnership with the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Cocoa Research Institute Ghana (CRIG) seeks to bring over 70 cashew experts from the producing countries of the sub-region to meet in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Region to discuss best practices and lessons learnt as well as to build national and regional networks for future collaboration. Competitive Cashew initiative (ComCashew) previously known as the African Cashew initiative (ACi) constitutes a new type of multi-stakeholder partnership in development cooperation. The initiative is mainly funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for its third phase which started from May 1, 2016. The training programme is part of the Master Training Programing for cashew value chain promotion which will ensure that participants will return to their host institutions, organisations, to have a multiplier effect on the cashew industry when sharing their knowledge and experiences gained by attending this tailor-made training.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – July 27, 2016

2016 July 27
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on agriculture in Africa:

Media Reports
Bridging the Gap between Forestry and Agriculture to Improve Food Security
At the opening of the 23rd Session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO), FAO presented its flagship publication The State of the World's Forests (SOFO) and called for better coordination between agriculture and forestry for sustainable farming systems and forest management to ensure food security. The FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva mentioned in his opening remarks that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change, recognizes a coherent and integrated approach to sustainability across all agricultural sectors and food systems and forests and forestry have key roles to play in this regard.

FAO Challenges Agric Institutions to Make Research Results more Accessible
Recently the FAO has been meeting various players in the Agric sector to discuss potential mechanisms for improving access to agricultural data. The meetings are aimed at helping increase information and knowledge sharing through open data, and open access initiatives, which the FAO notes will be crucial for food security and good nutrition in Ghana. “In an era of information and knowledge revolution, facilitated by breakthrough in digital technology, we must adopt innovative solutions, including accessing open data, in order to advance transformation agenda of agriculture and the rural economy,” the FAO Representative to Ghana and Deputy Regional Representative for Africa, Dr Abebe Haile Gabriel, said at the opening session of the meeting. Speaking at the meeting, the Director-General for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Victor Kwame Agyeman, indicated that CSIR would soon adopt an Open Access Policy to disseminate its research results.

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