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Sustainability of FBOs Critical to Agric Sector – Minister

The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has indicated that the sustainability of Farmer Based Organizations is very important to the agricultural sector. The minister made this observation during the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Dairy Farmers and Processors Association of Ghana held at the premises of the Suhum Municipal Assembly in the Eastern region.

The program was held in collaboration with the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology and Heifer International.  The 10th anniversary was in recognition of the contribution of dairy farmers to the national economy through their cattle rearing activities which produce such products as ‘burkina, wagashi, yoghurt,’ etc.

The minister’s comment comes in the wake of the non-sustainability of some FBOs that collapsed soon after their establishment. Many farmer groups have sprung up over the years, typically to strive for members’ welfare. But critics have chastised some of these organizations as ad hoc or short term groups formed to benefit from certain benefits after which they dissipate.

Some of these FBOs include Yam Farmers Association, Cassava Farmers Association, Maize Farmers Association, etc who all aggregate for a project but fades away soon after the project ends.

Honourable Osei Akoto also expressed worry at the continuous importation of food into the country despite the country’s status as an agriculture country.

“Ghana is an agricultural country but we import sugar, chicken, cheese, milk, etc which is not appropriate and all these foods are bought with the foreign currency,” he lamented.

The minister further emphasized that Ghana can produce and process foods rather than importing foods in the country. He also congratulated the dairy farmers for their efforts at forming a dairy association and also celebrating 10 years of producing raw milks.

The agric minister also urged the dairy farmers not to be discouraged with any lack of support for the government or foreign investors.  Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto also challenged the farmers to strive expand their farms in order to serve as reference points to other farmers to motivate them to expand their farming businesses as well.

Also speaking at the event, Hon Magaret Darko, Municipal Chief Executive for Suhum lauded the association for their immense efforts towards producing more dairy products in the area. She expressed hope that the production of dairy will be of more value since it will feed into government’s one District, one factory policy of the Suhum district to produce dairy products.

Source: Nana Ama Sarfo/ritefmonline.org

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