Connect with us

Agribusiness

Agogo plantain production to soar – MoFA predicts ahead of festival

Plantain and cocoyam consumed in Ghana is imported | News Ghana

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) expects a bumper harvest of plantain in the Agogo area of the Ashanti Region this year despite a slump in production and export of the produce between January and September.

According to the Asante Akim North Municipal Director of Agriculture, Mr Eric Dwomoh, unfavourable rainfall between March and June, this year, led to exports to Togo and Burkina Faso falling to 2,785.46 metric tonnes this year, from a high of 6,748.67 metric tonnes within the same period last year.

In terms of revenue, GH¢14,652, 835 was realised in the first nine months of last year from the exports, but within the same period this year, the proceeds fell to GH¢5,700,525.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in an interview after the launch of the second Agogo Plantain Festival last Tuesday, Mr Dwomoh said, “With meteo services saying rainfall will improve, we hope to see bumper harvest between now and January, next year”.

Value of festival

Organised by the Agogo Traditional Council in partnership with MoFA, the festival which was instituted last year is meant to demonstrate the economic benefits of plantain farming.

This year’s event will be held from November 12 -14 on the theme, “Assessing the benefits of plantain production – contribution from all stakeholders”.

The 2021 Plantain Festival comes after a successful take-off last year. The festival has its roots from the bushfires of 1983 when Agogo’s forest reserve was devastated by bush fires.

The Omanhene of Agogo, Nana Akuoko Sarpong, acquired hectares of the reserve from the Department of Forestry and put them under plantain cultivation.

His personal effort was so successful that he emerged the overall best plantain farmer in the 1988 National Best Farmer Awards.

Thereupon, the people took to plantain cultivation. The result has been phenomenal and today, people refer to “Agogo Plantain” in the same way as Ghanaians used to refer to “Obuasi Ankaa” (oranges) in times past.

 ‘Agogo Miracle’

On Tuesdays, truck loads line up the Agogo routes taking plantain to other parts of the country.

The Ghana Cocoa Board now goes to Agogo to buy plantain suckers for cultivation in cocoa growing areas of the Western Region.

 ManyAgogo citizens, who migrated to other parts of the country, are returning home to do plantain farming, while those in Europe and America are remitting their relations with specific instruction to invest the money in plantain cultivation.

 “The Agogo miracle is the miracle of leadership,” commented Nana Bediako Brogya Sarpong, Dompiahene of Agogo and CEO of Brogya Resources Limited, an upstream and downstream oil and gas company.

He said, “once upon a time, Agogo was the second-largest producer of cocoa. Then the fires came. Today, see what a people can do under inspired visionary leadership”.

Subsidies.

Mr Dwomoh said the government had introduced subsidies on organic fertiliser, which was good for plantain production so farmers should go for it.

“Now we have enough agriculture extension agents and the ministry plans to recruit more so farmers will have improved technical services.

 Mr Dwomoh further stated that plantain farming was receiving a boost in Agogo because the problems with Fulani herdsmen had been largely resolved saving the farms from destruction by cattle.

He called for irrigation facilities to further boost production.

Specialised zones

 Nana Akuoko Sarpong challenged the National House of Chiefs to champion the creation of specialised zones for cultivation of particular crops in their paramountcy and use the resultant economic boom to reverse rural-urban migration.

“From Mampong to Amantin, from Atebubu, Prang to Yeji,the land is a paradise for the cultivation of maize, rice and other cereals. The North has an ideal soil for cultivating sunflower for oil.

 “Once upon a time, Obuasi was synonymous with oranges; when you talked of rice, you thought of places such as Aveyime and Nasia, in the same way as the northern belt had built a reputation with the shea butter,” he told the Daily Graphic pointing out that “the economic boom will come from either the export or the downstream operations when we set up factories to process the crops”.

 The Omanhene said the time had come for Africa to wise up to the reality in the advanced countries where 10 per cent of the people farmed to feed the millions and provide raw materials for factories, as opposed to Africa where 70 per cent did the farming and, even then, could not feed themselves let alone the whole nation.

 “The only reason is that over there, the farmers are knowledgeable and farming is a skill. Also, unlike us, they plan their agriculture without leaving out important linkages such as transportation which is a sine qua non,” the lawyer and former Minister of State observed.

 He added, “That is why hard as we try, we still are unable to produce cocoa in the quantities that will send us right back to the top where we used to be on the world market”.

He said the Plantain Festival had come to stay because the benefits from plantain production were enormous.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Agribusiness

Distribution of premix fuel to Fisher-folk to go digital

Premix-Cartel: Ghana losing about ₵23k on every fuel truck | Comprehensive  Ghana Oil and Gas news, information, updates, analysis
Fisherfolk buying fuel

The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has announced processes have been initiated to digitise the supply and distribution of premix fuel to fishermen.

The ministry explains the initiative forms part of measures to reduce the incidence of diversion and hoarding.

The sector Minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson, made the disclosure during the inauguration of a premix fuel committee.Madam Koomson explained under the digitisation programme, fishermen would be required to use canoe identification cards to buy premix fuel after their cards were credited with the subsidy amount.

She noted it would be fully operational upon allocation of funds to the ministry in the 2022 Budget expected to be presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to Parliament on November 17.

The minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya East, further tasked the committee to pay particular attention to the selection and composition of the LBCs.

She added they must ensure that the right people are chosen to represent the local level for efficient use of the margins accrued from sale of premix fuel.

Premix fuel is a subsidised petroleum product for artisanal fishers in the marine and inland fisheries sector to power their outboard motors for fishing expeditions.

Source:Adomonline

Continue Reading

Agribusiness

Cocoa farmers threaten demo over implementation of pension scheme

Ghana's Cocoa Growers Lose Land, Livelihoods
Some Ghanaian cocoa farmers in action

Members of the Ghana National Cocoa Farmers Association have kicked against decision by officials of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to carry out the implementation of cocoa farmers pension scheme through a newly inaugurated board of trustees. 

They have threatened to embark on a massive demonstration if government carry on with the decision.

A press statement they issued said : ““Regardless of the fact that COCOBOD has inaugurated the Board of Trustee of the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme to undertake the implementation of the Cocoa Farmers pension scheme which was said to be rolled on Pilot basis, starting from New Edubiase in the Ashanti Region. The Ghana National Cocoa Farmers Association (GNACOFA, hereinafter called “the Association”) is not convinced about the genuineness of the Scheme’s implementation.

“We the Association (GNACOFA) together with the Wassa branch of the COCOSHIE group, Small HolderCocoa Farmers group of co-operatives, Concerned Cocoa Farmers groups (47 communities), and other Cocoa Farmers groups have carefully considered the proposal by COCOBOD which has left the executives of the Ghana National Cocoa Farmers, Small Holder Cocoa Farmers and other Cooperatives in consternation. We therefore want to express our concerns with regard to the implementation and the commissioning of the Board to manage the scheme which we the Association believed have left the beneficiaries of the scheme behind, without any consultation.”

Below is the full statement…

PRESS CONFERENCE

GHANA NATIONAL COCOA FARMERS ASSOCIATION (GNACOFA)

ALL MEDIA HOUSE

MAIN STREAM MEDIA AND INTERNATIONAL MEDIA   Wednesday 3rd November 2021

“Regardless of the fact that COCOBOD has inaugurated the Board of Trustee of the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme to undertake the implementation of the Cocoa Farmers pension scheme which was said to be rolled on Pilot basis, starting from New Edubiase in the Ashanti Region. The Ghana National Cocoa Farmers Association (GNACOFA, hereinafter called “the Association”) is not convinced about the genuineness of the Scheme’s implementation.

“We the Association (GNACOFA) together with the Wassa branch of the COCOSHIE group, Small HolderCocoa Farmers group of co-operatives, Concerned Cocoa Farmers groups (47 communities), and other Cocoa Farmers groups have carefully considered the proposal by COCOBOD which has left the executives of the Ghana National Cocoa Farmers, Small Holder Cocoa Farmers and other Cooperatives in consternation. We therefore want to express our concerns with regard to the implementation and the commissioning of the Board to manage the scheme which we the Association believed have left the beneficiaries of the scheme behind, without any consultation.

We hereby wish to state our position and concerns as follows:

  1. PENSION

a) COCOBOB is a state entity mandated by law to set up a mandatory pension scheme for farmers, which for over 36years has failed, refused, neglected to fulfil its legal mandate as stipulated by law under PNDCL 81.Regardless of the fact that COCOBOD has set-up a Board for the Scheme, we farmers have no faith in COCOBOD and the genuineness of the Scheme’s implementation as the chairman of the Association though a member of the board was never invited during the inauguration of the board.

b) Also, It took the intervention of the Association to bring the issue of establishing farmers pension scheme to the attention of COCOBOD, even so, what has been unveiled by the government is akin to a pension scheme under Section 106 of the National Pensions Act (Act 766) and not as mandated by Law under PNDCL 81.

c) Though, the association welcomes the government effort in ensuring the implementation of Pension Scheme for Cocoa Farmers, the Association is disappointed in the way and the manner the implementation is ongoing (on a pilot basis as proposed by COCOBOD).

d) In fact, if it is the case that COCOBOD wants to establish a provident fund (government contributing 1% whiles farmers contribute 4%) for Cocoa Farmers then why not allow Cocoa Farmers to willingly join an informal sector fund like that of Spare Parts dealers Association, Ghana Road Transport Union of TUC and Progressive Transport Owners Association which have already been set-up and administered by private Corporate Trustee.

e) Besides, the said members are happy with the operations and administration of the scheme that cocoa farmers are still fighting to join free from government interference. The Informal sector Pension Scheme is by law applicable to private institution and associations like cocoa farmers as well as other co-operative farming schemes. Cocoa farmers lack of retirement financial security, future livelihood and better health/welfare packages to sustain Cocoa farming business in the country, is a treat to the industry as a whole.

  • SMALL HOLDER COCOA FARMERS REPRESENTED BY GNACOFA HAS SEPERATED FROM COCOSHIE
  • GNACOFA which represents Small Holder Cocoa Farmers has separated from COCOSHE on the basis that, though COCOSHIE has existed for over 30 years (since 1984) it has failed to make  any meaningful impact on the lives of Cocoa Farmers in Ghana.
  • We the Small Holder Cocoa Farmers represented by GNACOFA, states our position clear today, 3rd November 2021 that Ghana National Cocoa Farmers Association (GNACOFA) is the representative body which represents Small Holder Cocoa Farmers (SHCF) in Ghana and also to serve as voice of the ordinary Small Holder Cocoa Farmers in Ghana.
  • The mandate of the Association is to bring together all Cocoa Farmers in the country to present a unified front to champion our common goal and to protect the interest of farmers toward positive growth and development. GNACOFA confirms today that it has no affiliation and no business with COCOSHE.  

d) GNACOFA is bringing together all Cocoa Farmers in Ghana by serving as a platform for farmers to voice out their concerns and to initiate development oriented activities to improve their livelihoods.

e) The failure on the part of COCOBOD to protect Cocoa Farmers and by using COCOSHE, which for a long time has been an inactive Association (registration documents of COCOSHIE has not been renewed for over 20 years) as a shield to defend its action and inactions against Cocoa Farmers, is inimical and prejudicial to the wellbeing of Cocoa Farmers whose sweat and hard labour continues to enrich this country.

f) Cocoa Farmers are deeply disappointed with the treatment of their members by COCOBOD as it has on many occasions refused to meet the representatives of Cocoa Farmers especially GNACOFA.


g) Meanwhile Cocoa Farmers are the Key Stakeholders and the beneficiaries of the Pension Scheme as envisage under section 26 of PNDCL 81, yet the representatives of the Cocoa Farmers are yet to play a role in fashioning out the concept of the scheme, its operational strategies and monitory contributions.

i) We therefore reject the idea of an imposed pension scheme on Cocoa Farmers who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the said Scheme. We view this as an attempt by COCOBOD to silence farmers by excluding their thoughts, ideas, and inputs.

J) Indeed, it is our considered view that the attempt on the part of the COCOBOD to exclude the farmers associations as being  inconsistent with the letter, spirit and  policy objectives that underlined Section 26 of the PNDCL 81.

  • HEALTH INSURANCE
  • GNACOFA proposes a Mutual Health Insurance Scheme as supplementary to NHIS for farmer’s health care to be supported by the COCOBOD just like its staffs enjoy free medical care from Cocoa Clinic on Cocoa Farmer’s hard work and sweat, yet farmers must pay for their own medical care from the pennies they earn.
  • GNACOFA proposes that Cocoa Farmers bonuses and premiums be used to cover the extra cost to NHIS as Farmers Mutual Health Care to safeguard the health of Cocoa Farmers.
  • FARM SUPPORT: AGRO CHEMICAL INPUT SUPPLY
  • GNACOFA proposes that the provision of Mass Spraying, Pollination, Pruning, Fertilizer, Agro Input supply as well as Extension officer’s services to Small Holder Cocoa Farmers be based on support from Cocoa generated fund not from the Common Fund to ensure constant cash flow for these important exercises.

COCOA FARMERS WELFARE CAN NOT SUBTITUTED AS FARM SUPPORT

  1. Profit/surplus of Cocoa generated income is reserved for the supply of Mass Spray, Pollination, Pruning, Fertilizer, and Agro Chemical.
  • POLICY MAKERS NEVER INCLUDE FARMERS IN DECISION MAKING AND DOES NOT ADDRESS THEIR CHALLENGES AND CONCERNS
  • Policy maker takes decisions on Cocoa farming activities without involving Cocoa Famers which is inimical and prejudicial to the right and wellbeing of farmers.

b) Most decisions taken by the policy makers and government representatives on Cocoa Farmers affairs never addresses the challenges and concerns of the farmers whose wellbeing is vital to the growth and development of the Cocoa industry in Ghana.

  • COCOA FARMERS ARE PRIVATE ENTITY (ENTERPRISE) NOT COCOBOD WORKERS

a) Cocoa farms in Ghana are owned by private individual farmers and managed as private enterprises. Government and COCOBOD do not own share in any farmer’s business. This means that Cocoa Farmers are not workers of COCOBOD.

  • COCOA MASS SPRAY EFFECT

a) Most of the Cocoa spraying machines hired by COCOBOD on mass spraying have affected Cocoa Farmers adversely due to the effect of poisonous chemicals. COCOBOD as CONTRACTOR of the project does not make any provision for safety, to safeguard the lives of Cocoa Farmers. As a result, this has affected several sprayers/farmers with various long term infections like:  swollen feet – peripheral edema, eczema, puffy cheeks etc.

  • COCOA REHABILITATION RATE OF GHC 1,000.00 AS AGAINST THAT OF RUBER PLANTAINTION REHABILITATION RATE GHC 100,000.00
  • We believe the rehabilitation amount for Cocoa Farmers is woefully inadequate and same must be increased.

DATED IN KUMASI THIS ………….DAY OF NOVEMBER 2021

BY:THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF GNACOFA (MR. STEVENSON ANANE BOATENG)

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Continue Reading

Agribusiness

Only cocoa farmers with passbooks will benefit from Pension Schemes – NAPRA

In Cameroon, new seed varieties help cocoa crops bloom and farmers thrive |  African Development Bank - Building today, a better Africa tomorrow

The National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) has advised cocoa farmers in the country to acquire COCOBOD pass books to benefit from the government’s Cocoa Farmers Pensions Scheme.

Mr Hayford Atta Krufi, the Chief Executive Officer of the NAPRA explained the Authority was collaborating with the COCOBOD to register 1.5 million cocoa farmers to benefit from the scheme, but added only farmers who had passbooks would be registered to benefit.

He therefore advised cocoa farmers who did not have the passbook to contact their various cocoa purchasing clerks as soon as possible, saying NAPRA had started the implementation of the scheme among the farmers.

Mr Krufi gave the advice when addressing hundreds of farmers at a sensitization forum on the three-tier pensions in Sunyani on Friday, organised by the NAPRA, to mark the National Pensions Awareness Week.

Highlighting on the scheme, Mr Krufie explained only five percent of proceeds of beneficiary farmers would be deducted at source and invested into the scheme.

He said after five years of investment, all beneficiary were qualified for the benefit of the scheme which include; survivors benefit and advised the farmers to cooperate with the COCOBOD and register with the scheme for future security.

Mr Krufi said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had directed the NAPRA to intensify public education to ensure all cocoa farmers understood the concept and register to benefit from the scheme to make life comfortable for them on retirement.

Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister lauded the scheme and commended the NAPRA and government, saying it would provide excellent retirement package and security for the cocoa farmers in the country.

Source:GNA

Continue Reading

COVID-19

Post Categories

Trending