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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – August 31, 2015

2015 August 31
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Ziope Earmarked for Vegetable Cultivation - President Mahama
President John Dramani Mahama has announced the government’s decision to designate Ziope in the Volta Region as a special project area for the cultivation of vegetables for the local and foreign markets. He said the special project area would be supervised by the Extension Services Division of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). Addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people of the Ziope Traditional Area to climax the fifth edition of their farming festival, known as Agbleza, last Saturday, President Mahama said there was a huge market for vegetables and, therefore, asked the people to take advantage of that to produce more to earn higher incomes. The Ziope Traditional Area, with 58 communities and a population of more than 22,000, is a large farming community on …

AfDB Unveils New Report to Empower Women
The African Development Bank (AfDB), has unveiled a new report to economically empower women giving them additional leverage to participate gainfully in the agricultural added value-chain. The report dubbed: “Economic Empowerment of African Women through Equitable Participation in Agricultural Value Chains,” was produced by the office of the Special Envoy on Gender and the Department for Agriculture and Agro-industry of AfDB, which was launched at its headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The details of the event copied to Ghana News Agency, high-level participants, including stakeholders from both the private and public sectors from the countries and sectors examined by the report in cocoa, coffee, cotton and cassava sectors in …

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – August 24, 2015

2015 August 24
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
COCOBOD Baits Youth into Cocoa Farming
The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) says its broad-based initiative of involving youth in cocoa farming is part of a succession plan to motivate the youth to embrace cocoa farming as a business and take over from aging farmers. The Board’s initiative is as well to encourage more rural folks, unemployed graduates and corporate youth into the cocoa business to become the next generation of cocoa farmers in the country. Over 30,000 youth are currently engaged in the cultivation of the crop in all the cocoa growing regions and is targetted at replacing the aging farming syndrome that is catching up with the industry. Noah Kwesi Amenyah, Public Affairs Manager, COCOBOD told B&FT that its new initiate, ‘New Cocoa Sector Transformation Agenda’ is aimed at enticing a lot more Ghanaian ….

500 Cocoa Farmers Receives Seedlings
About 500 cocoa farmers from the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipality in the Eastern Region have taken delivery of 100,000 seedlings and quantities of fertiliser for this year’s planting season. The beneficiary communities are Pakro, Out Kwadwo, Fahiako, Asiawkrom and Ahyirensu-Yeboakrom. Mr. Michael Gyasi, the Suhum Cocoa District Officer, speaking to farmers at Pakro explained that with the change in rain pattern farmers will readily plant the seedlings, adding that the application of the ‘Lithovit Foliarar’ (liquid) fertiliser on their farms, under the programme, is also on course. Mr. Gyasi said the rationale for free distribution of seedlings and fertilisers to cocoa farmers is to help increase their yield; ease their financial burdens; and curb the decline of cocoa production.

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Vacancy Announcement:Research Officer

2015 August 20
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

The Ghana Strategy Support Program, International Food Policy Research Institute (GSSP, IFPRI) seeks a Research Officer (RO) for a one-year, fixed-term, exempt, renewable appointment.  The RO will work with Dr. Shashidhara Kolavalli, Program Leader, GSSP, and will assist him mainly on publications, such as research papers, books, and presentations in different research projects etc. This position is based at IFPRI Accra, Ghana.

The candidate is expected to perform a gamut of editorial, research and support duties to coordinate publication of materials in scholarly works, professional journals and books. He/she should be able to perform assignments independently, with minimal supervision. The typical duties will involve:

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – August 17, 2015

2015 August 17
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Below are some current developments on agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Ghana to Host International Meeting on Agric
The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food System, headquartered in the United Kingdom, will in November hold its Third Global Meeting in Accra, under the auspices of the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation. The meeting, slated for November 16 to 18, will be the first in Africa, and will be co-chaired by former President Kufuor. It will bring together global experts in the Agriculture sector, to discuss issues pertaining to food security, malnutrition, health, and improvement in the Agriculture sector. Briefing the media on the event, Professor Sandy Thomas, Executive Director, Global Panel on Agriculture and Food System, said the meeting would tap into the ideas of Ghanaians, their visions and priorities pertaining to the Agriculture sector, to help identify where Global Panel should focus on its discussions

COCOBOD Vows to Retrieve US$131m Debt from Processing Firms
The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is worried over a US$131million debt owed by local cocoa processing firms, and has vowed to retrieve all monies to help boost crop production. Among the companies owing the Board are Cocoa Processing Company, West African Mills Company (WAMCO), Plot Enterprise, Afro Tropic, and Real Products. COCOBOD has over the years been supplying cocoa beans to local processing companies on credit at a discount of 20 percent, targeted at growing local businesses and creating employment. Noah Kwesi Amenyah, Public Affairs Manager, Cocobod, told B&FT in an interview that: “We wish to direct all processing companies owing the Board to quickly put in measures that clear their indebtedness for smooth delivery of beans for their operations.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – August 10, 2015

2015 August 10
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
CRI Spearheads National Campaign to Overcome Food Insecurity
The Crops Research Institute (CRI) of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched a West African Virus Epidemiology for Root and Tuber Crops project. The project being undertaken at Fumesua near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region is to address virus threats posed to food production. Funded by the Global Development Programme of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it seeks to overcome food insecurity by maximizing root and tuber crops production to appreciable level. Dr Stella Ama Ennin, CRI Director, said at the launch that taking advantage of modern environmental and disease monitoring systems, the project would strive to understand and predict root crop virus emergence, evolution and spread in the sub-region. This would be done by conducting geo-referenced field surveys in six major cassava-producing countries, using harmonised sampling and analysis protocols.

Indigenous Knowledge of African Farmers be Enhanced – Dr Alhassan
Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Crops, on Wednesday reiterated the need for indigenous knowledge of the African farmer to be enhanced, to achieve food security and sovereignty. He said Africa had the needed trained human resources in scientific research to contribute to that knowledge or technology development. Dr Alhassan, who was speaking at the opening of the Fourth Planning and General Meeting of Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) in Accra, said “the era of despair, timidity and sometimes outright cynicism of African agriculture must give way to confidence, mutual trust and co-operation among stakeholders.” AFSA is a Pan-African platform of 21 networks and farmer organisations championing small African Family Farming/Production Systems based on agro-ecological and indigenous approaches that sustain food sovereignty and the livelihoods of communities.

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