By Joyce Bedeley:
With about a few months to the second edition of Rite FM’s flagship program, the Rite Agri-Forum, organizers of the event are already bracing up for a successful 2017 event. The forum which seeks to provide a common platform for agri-preneurs, investors, experts and NGOs to help promote agriculture in the Krobo communities in a platform designed to come to the aid of farmers, last year drew together hundreds of stakeholders.
Head of Agric Desk at Rite FM who doubles as the event coordinator, Mr. Anthony Ayertey told Rite news that RAF 2017 was also going to focus not only on the above stakeholders but all other persons who fall in the value chain of the agric sector. This, he indicated include the producers, processors and consumers.
He explained that the Rite Agri-Forum was an idea carved out of another Rite FM initiative, the Mobilizing Action towards Agriculture Sector Improvement, MAASI, a 15-month project designed to advocate for improved resource allocation to the agricultural sector in six districts including the Asuogyaman, Lower Manya Krobo, Upper Manya Krobo, Yilo Krobo, Akuapim North and Shai Osudoku Districts.
The purpose of the MAASI project was also to stimulate more dialogue among stakeholders notably, the Departments of Agric, the District Assemblies, Farmer-Based Organizations, FBOs, and the central government.
This, he explained was a collaborative effort between FMSL Multimedia (Rite 90.1 FM) with support from USAID/Ghana Feed the Future (FtF) Agriculture Policy Support Project (APSP) which implemented the MAASI project. This also resulted in the establishment and reconstitution of the Agriculture Sub-Committees in the six project districts.
Mr. Ayertey who also heads Rite FM’s Projects Desk added that the efforts which pushed for an increase in budgetary allocation for the various districts led to the birth of the RAF project.
Another purpose for the event, he noted was that ‘RAF also seeks to bring all the key players and stakeholders in the agric value chain to come together on a common platform to discuss issues such as grass root farmers, meeting agro input dealers at a round table rather than on the airwaves and the policy makers to help them solve some of their pertinent issues and tell why agric which is the backbone of the economy should be declining whiles other sectors are flourishing.
To him, every edition should be an improvement of the previous edition and so he anticipates a few changes to make the 2017 edition a better success story.
He contends that though the committee is yet to meet and decide the theme for this year’s edition, it nevertheless looks forward to involving more technology among today’s farmers, making agric attractive to the youth as well as making policy makers understand that agric is the back bone of the country which needs thorough attention to help raise the sector to appreciable heights.