The Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA) and its implementing partners joined stakeholders in Ghana’s agricultural sector to celebrate the 36th National Farmers’ Day held at Techiman in the Bono East Region from 2 – 6 November, 2020.
The theme for the five-day event was ‘Ensuring Agricultural Development under COVID-19: Opportunities and Challenges’. The event was marked with an exhibition of farm produce and equipment, farmers’ fora, Regional and National Best Farmer Awards. AGRA Seed Sector grantee – M&B Seeds and Agricultural Services Ghana Limited, was among 138 farmers and farmer-based organisations awarded for their contribution to the country’s agricultural growth.
M&B Seeds and Agricultural Services received the National Best Quality Maize Producer award at the ceremony. The Chief Executive Officer of M&B Seeds and Agricultural Services, Benjamin Kemetse, attributed the award to the innovative Farmer Seed Supply and Grains Marketing Model his company has been implementing since 2014 with support from AGRA.
Mr. Kemetse said: “I looked at the market and saw that the quality of maize was not good because there was no premium price for quality maize. This model is addressing the problem”.
As an AGRA Seed Sector grantee, M&B Seeds and Agricultural Services produces and distributes hybrid seeds to farmers to increase production. Through the innovative model, the company has moved a step further to supply seed, fertiliser and extension support to farmers under its out-grower scheme to produce maize, which is cleaned and packaged for market at a premium price.
Also at the National Farmers’ Day event were consortium members of the AGRA-funded ‘Public-Private Partnership for Competitive and Inclusive Rice Value Chain Development Project – Rice Chapter’. The AGRA Rice Chapter consortium comprises the Directorate of Crop Services at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture; Hopeline Institute; Intervalle; John Agyekum Kufour Foundation; SPARKX Investment Limited; and Volta City Farms.
The consortium members exhibited a range of rice brands produced by farmers and processors who have been trained and supported by the project to increase the quantity and quality of rice produced, so as to make Ghana rice self-sufficient by 2025.
The AGRA partners, together with staff who manned the AGRA booth, disseminated information on interventions and projects implemented to catalyse agricultural transformation in Ghana to the over-3,000 stakeholders who attended the National Farmers’ Day event. These included farmer groups, agro-produce buyers and processors, agribusiness owners, business development service providers, financial institutions, development partners, research institutions, civil society organisations and public institutions.
Established in 2006, AGRA is an African-led, Africa-based and farmer-centred institution working to put smallholder farmers at the centre of the continent’s growing economy, by transforming their farming from a solitary struggle to survive into a business that thrives. Working in collaboration with our partners including African governments, researchers, development partners, the private sector and civil society, AGRA’s work primarily focuses on smallholder farmers – men and women who typically cultivate staple crops on two hectares or less. In the new strategy for 2017-2021, AGRA is supporting 11 African countries and 30 million smallholder farm households (150 million individuals) to increase their incomes and improve their food security.