The Bono East regional directorate of the Department of Agriculture is assisting rice and maize farmers and farmer’s groups in the Atebubu-Amantin, Sene West, Pru East, and Pru West districts of the Bono East region to sign a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with bulk buyers referred to as aggregators.
According to Mrs. Cecelia Kagya Agyemang the regional director of agriculture, the signing of the MOU’s marks the end of the first phase of activities under the ‘business partnership and market linkage’ initiative aimed at ensuring ready markets for farmers produce.
She said this will help prevent glut in production, improve the well-being of farmers due to guaranteed incomes, attract the youth into farming and help solve the high unemployment rate in the country.
At meetings in Atebubu in the Atebubu-Amantin municipality and Prang in the Pru West district, farmers and aggregators discussed issues of truthfulness, trust, and adherence to standards in production in order to meet the requirements of exporters, manufacturers, and consumers.
Mr. Eric Kontomah, the Regional Officer In-charge of crops briefed the gathering on the importance of the use of the moisture meter equipment to determine the amount of moisture in maize adding that it is very important to dry maize properly to meet the standards of buyers.
Mr. Bernard Marfo, the regional extension officer of the department took the gatherings through the contract document which spells out the obligations of each party to the agreement namely: farmers, aggregators, and the department of agriculture.
The Atebubu-Amantin municipal director of agriculture Mr. Stephen Aidoo urged farmers at the meeting in Atebubu to make good use of the opportunity since it marks a departure from the era where farmers suffered from post-harvest losses due to the unavailability of ready markets.
Present at the meetings were Messrs. Mathew Opoku, Nambe Jababu, and Thomas Langa the directors of agriculture for the Sene West, Pru East, and Pru West districts respectively.