Performance Review & Stakeholders Meeting Organised by the Department of Agriculture

Placeholder image As part of effort to assess the impact of its programs /activities on stakeholders within the Akwapim South Municipality, the Department of Agriculture organised a performance review and Stakeholder workshop on the 23rd December, 2019 at the Akwapim South Municipal Assembly Conference Hall, Aburi. The objective of the program was to assess the impact of the programs/ activities carried out by the Department on the livelihood of farmers and evaluate its performance through feedbacks from its major stakeholders. Fifty-four (54) participants consisting producers, processors, marketers/exporters, Donor partners, Municipal Assembly and other cooperate institutions operating at different levels along the agricultural value chain participated in the program. Out of the 54 participants, thirty-three (33) were males and twenty-one (21) females.

The Municipal Director of Agriculture revealed that the purpose of the meeting was to give accounts of activities/ programs the Department carried out in 2019 to its stakeholders/ beneficiaries for assessment and evaluation to ensure better cohesion and enhance services rendered by the Department moving forward. She mentioned that many projects fail due to lack of monitoring, evaluation and assessment of project outcomes and it is in that light that the Department instituted such program to monitor and assess the impact of its programs directly from its stakeholders and beneficiaries. She thanked the Government for the support through the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG). She also acknowledged the support by Development partners/Donor agencies within the Agricultural sector. She specially cited GIZ and HPW Fresh & Dry for their continuous support to farmers within the Municipality through trainings and educational tours. She revealed that GIZ for example in 2019 organised several field trips within and outside the region for farmers and AEAs to learn more about conservational Agriculture practices.

Mr. Joseph Ahiako, the Regional M&E Officer who represented the Regional Director of Agriculture congratulated the Department of Agriculture for such an innovation and thanked the various stakeholders present for their participation in such an important meeting. He said the Regional Director was very much pleased upon receiving the invitation to the program but could not attend himself due to another equally important national assignment which he needed to be part. Mr. Ahiako mentioned that Agriculture in recent times have moved from subsistence to agri-business and entreated all stakeholders present to situate their farming activities along that lines.
He urged the various Actors present to continue to work in harmony to strengthen the bond along the value chain. He stressed the point that no single Actor can stand alone and perform all the activities along the value chain as it requires team work.

Mr. Chris Boye-Doe, an Advisor from GIZ took participants through some of the interventions GIZ undertook in 2019 which include training pineapple farmers, organised educational workshop/ trips for AEAs and farmers, setting up of demonstration plots among others. He mentioned that GIZ sees Agriculture as a critical avenue to alleviate poverty among people and hence their continuous support to the sector. He also mentioned that GIZ is championing conservation Agriculture in the Municipality and Ghana at large and in view of that they established demonstration fields to train AEAs and farmers on conservational Agricultural practices.
Again, some AEAs from the Municipality were selected and sent on educational tour at the “No- till village” in Kumasi to acquire more practical knowledge on conservational Agriculture. Mr. Chris Boye also talked about the Market Oriented Agriculture program (MOAP) which is on-going in some selected Regions and Districts including the Eastern Region. He said GIZ sees marketing as an important aspect of the value chain process and recognises the challenge farmers faced with marketing their produce hence instituted that program. He continued that MOAP has trained and continue to train stakeholders along the agricultural value chain on marketing/markets and urged beneficiaries of the program to put the knowledge acquired into practice to increase production and improve standard of living for themselves and their families as it is opined in the objectives of the program.

The Municipal Coordinating Director advised participants to take advantage of the many Government interventions in the Agricultural sector to improve their livelihoods. She outlined programs such the Planting for food and Jobs (PFJ), planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) as areas that participants can greatly take advantage of and benefits from. She indicated that the planting for food & Jobs program has helped to revive many farmers whose operations were hitherto collapsing through the provision of subsidized seeds and fertilizers. She continued that through the planting for Export and Rural Development program (PERD), ten thousand two hundred coconut seedlings were distributed to farmers freely for multiplication on their various farms. She encouraged participants especially farmers to work in groups since they stand to harness much benefits from the group compared to working individually.

Madam Dorcas Kwakye, the officer in charge of cooperative took participants through the process of registering cooperatives. She indicated that for a group to be properly registered by her outfit, the group should have executives, constitution, group name, must pay dues etc.. She continued that there are many groups within the Municipality but few are active due to the lack of interest by members and there encouraged farmers to help build groups since there are greater benefits in cooperatives.

Mr. Haafiz Aminu Mohammed who led the presentation on behalf of the Department of Agriculture focused his presentation on Extension Delivery, Crops Performance, Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD), Veterinary and Engineering.

  • Extension Delivery
    On extension, it was revealed that the Municipality has been divided into 4 agricultural zones. It has sixty-one (61) farming communities which has been divided into 15 operational areas and supervised by seventeen (17) AEAs. Farmer population in the entire Municipality was given as 10,663 with 7,998 males and 2,665 females. In 2019, 5,992 farm and home visits were conducted by AEAs whereby farm technologies were disseminated to farmers. Some of the technologies mentioned include conservation Agriculture, correct use of agro-chemicals, climate smart Agriculture, good housing and feeding practices in animals among others just to mention few.
    Again, the annual Research Extension Linkage Committee (RELC) conducted in 2018 revealed several major constraints/challenges faced by farmers which through education by Extension Officers have been able to bring most of the constraints under control. Among the constraints highlighted include white flies in cabbage, fall army worm infestation, Lack of true to type MD2 pineapple variety, weak value chain committee, poor adherence to quality standards by farmers, lack of storage facilities and poor farm road network. To help control white flies in cabbage, farmers were recommended to use Bypel and Agoo as these chemicals have proven potency to control the flies and other worms. The Department of Agriculture organised workshops for farmers on how to spray crops affected by fall army worms and also supported farmers with chemicals to control the worms. The Department in its quest to enhance the value chain brought together major actors along the Agriculture value chain in the Municipality and organised capacity building training for them.

  • Crops
    Available data revealed steady increase in all the major commodities grown in the Municipality. Below is a table showing the production figures for crops under the Government Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) and non PFJ crops. Again, on planting for Export and Rural Development program, it was revealed that the 10,200 coconut seedlings were distributed to farmers in fifteen communities. Total land area planted was 58.4 hectares.

  • Women in Agricultural Development (WIAD)
    The WIAD unit is mandated to promote healthy nutrition among farm households, value addition and food safety along the agricultural value chain. It also seeks to integrate gender concerns into Agricultural program. In 2019, the unit undertook a total of eight (8) activities including food demonstrations and gender sensitive programs.

  • Veterinary Unit
    The veterinary department revealed that it conducted vaccination on animals such as poultry, sheep, dogs, cats and cattle. The table below depicts the animal species and the type of diseases vaccinated. The unit also trained small ruminant farmers on feed formulation and improved housing techniques.

  • Engineering
    The MIS officer disclosed that the Department received sixteen (16) motorbikes from the Government under the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) program to be shared to officers to boost extension delivery in the municipality.

Concluding, the Municipal Director of Agriculture thanked all participants for honouring the invitation and their rich contributions that made the program successful. She stressed the need of farmers to strengthen their cooperative system as it has proven to be beneficial.
  • Feb. 14, 2020

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