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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – November 17, 2014

2014 November 17
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Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Initiative Boosts Cocoa Productivity
More than 32,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana and other West African countries are now reducing the impact of pests and plant diseases on their cocoa crop. This has become possible through a joint programme by CropLife Africa Middle East and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) which trains a small group of select farmers to become Spray Service Providers (SSPs). SSPs are professionals who are able to identify pests, provide advice on their management and, when needed, properly apply crop protection products on cocoa farms. The programme is part of the WCF African Cocoa Initiative (ACI), a public-private partnership sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF). The initiative aims to double productivity for 100,000 cocoa farm households and raise farmer incomes by 150-200 per cent by 2016.

Cocoa Farmers Urged to Adopt Good Practices
The Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), Mr. Gilbert Anim Oppong has urged cocoa farmers to adopt good farming practices to increase their yields. He made the call when the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Antwi-Bosiako Sekyere visited the institute as part of his tour of Fanteakwa District and the East Akim Municipality. Mr. Oppong explained that, capsid (Akate) and black pod diseases are the major challenges facing cocoa farmers. He said to prevent akate from destroying the cocoa, farmers must build an overhead shades on the farms. Mr. Oppong suggested that, apart from the use of fungicides as a preventive method, good agronomic practices is the sure way to boost cocoa production and maintain the farm for a long period.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – November 10, 2014

2014 November 10
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Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
European Union (EU) Funds Research to Maximize Yam Production
The European Union (EU) is Ghana and United Kingdom research institutions to cut post-harvest losses of yams, estimated at 60 percent globally. Through the GRATITUDE project, the EU is funding the efforts of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research -Food Resources Institute (FRI) and Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of University of Greenwich UK, on making gains from losses of roots and tubers like yam and cassava. An official statement from the research bodies said the project aimed at reducing these losses to enhance the role the yam plays in food and income security through value added processing to reduce physical and economic losses…According to the statement, yam is one of the important food security crops for approximately 700 million people in the world, however, 60 per cent of fresh yams are currently considered to be lost after harvesting.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – November 3, 2014

2014 November 3
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Farmers in Three Northern Region Meet to Establish Efficiency
About 700 maize, rice and soya bean value chain farmers and actors from the three regions: Northern, Upper East, and Upper West, met at a day’s forum hosted by the Ghana Grains Council (GGC) in Tamale the Northern Region capital, to interact and establish market linkages to enhance overall efficiency in their industries. The Tamale forum formed part of the fourth annual Northern Ghana pre- harvest Agribusiness forum, which brought together farmers, buyers, processors, transporters, input dealers and financial institutions. The event which was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) and implemented by ACDI agricultural technology transfer and …

Ghana Achieves “Zero Hunger”
Ghanaian officials announced this month that Ghana has achieved “zero hunger,” and are crediting this success to some of the policies of former Ghanaian president John Kufuor. The Zero Hunger Challenge - a UN initiative that is supported by various Non-Governmental Organizations and foundations - aims to eliminate hunger through investments in agriculture, rural development, social protection, and equality of opportunity….While it is not clear whether Ghana has met all of these specific benchmarks, it has made significant strides in increasing agricultural production, tackling deforestation, and increasing its per capita GDP, which has increased from $275 in 2001 to $1,850 in 2013 …

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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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