The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), has presented warehouses to two Farmer Based Cooperatives (FBCs) in the Yendi Municipality of the Northern region.
The support is to help address problems associated with inadequate storage and post-harvest losses confronting farmers in the area.
The beneficiary Cooperatives were the Yendi Taganoba Tibiganso Co-operative Farmers and Marketing Union Limited, with more than one thousand small-holder farmers and the Zang Mangbanyini Viella Co-operative Food Farming and Marketing Society Limited with about 20 members.
The presentation formed part of the KOICA’s “Capacity Development of Farmer-Based Cooperatives and Organization (FBCs/FBOs) in Northern Ghana Project”, that sought to build capacities of smallholder farmers to promote sustainable agriculture as means of ensuring food security and economic growth.
It is being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) through the Department of Cooperatives (DoC) and Association of Church-based Development Project (ACDEP).
The Project comprised six major components, including; Cooperative Policy Advisory, Training of Trainers (TOT), Training of FBC/FBO leaders (TOL), Overseas Invitational Training in Korea, Networking and Marketing Support and the Pilot Projects.
A total of 29 pilot projects worth more than $300,000 were awarded to 41 Farmer-based cooperatives and organizations in 21 districts across the five Northern regions of Ghana since the commencement of the project in 2017.
Awards won included; eight warehouses, tractors, motor king tricycles, farm machineries, cottage industries and shea butter processing centres.
Dr Park Yeo Weon, a Researcher with the Project Management Service of KOICA, said the Agency has been an active partner in the development of several sectors in Ghana in recent times through bilateral cooperation programmes, adding “this project happens to be one of such programmes which has an overarching goal of improving the quality of life of rural residents in Northern Ghana”.
She appealed to beneficiaries to ensure that the warehouses were adequately utilized and maintained to guarantee their longevity and usefulness to the municipality.
“We will be glad to know that resources generated through the use of these warehouses are well managed and possibly invested into other viable business ventures to further enhance the fortunes of the members of the beneficiary cooperatives and community”, she added.
Alhaji Hammed Abubakar Yussuf, the Yendi Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), lauded KOICA for the intervention, and said it was in line with government’s vision of ensuring that every district in the country had a warehouse.
He emphasised on the need for the beneficiaries to properly maintain the edifices to serve the purpose for which they were presented.
Mr Daniel Waja Sumberi, Chairman of Taganoba Tibiganso Co-operative Farmers Union, who spoke on behalf of beneficiaries, expressed gratitude to the Agency for the gesture, and said the warehouses would improve on the storage capacities for their produce.
“Before getting this structure, we were keeping our produce in our sleeping rooms and on our compounds, which were always exposed to bad weather and animals, and this situation compelled us to sell the produce without earning any amount of money.
“These warehouses have come at the right time and we are grateful to KOICA and its partners for the kind support”, he said.