CSO Platform on agriculture inaugurated in Tamale

By Caesar Abagali, GNA
Tamale, March 12, GNA – The USAID under its Northern Ghana Governance Activity (NGGA), has inaugurated the Northern Ghana Civil Society Organisations Platform on agriculture.

It is aimed at strengthening CSO and private sector groups’ potentials for agricultural growth.

In line with the objective, the NGGA is supporting the revival of the Northern Ghana CSO Platform on agriculture, which URBANET, TradAid and CIKOD all local NGOs operating in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions are leading the platforms.

The Platform is a coalition of CSOs and private sector group and actors working in the agriculture value chain and meant to influence public policy processes that would improve agriculture outcomes in the north.

Mr Cyris Pul, Governance and Advocacy Specialist of the NGGA speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Tamale called for unity among CSO groups to ensure success.

He gave the assurance that the NGGA programme would strive harder to ensure improvement in agriculture growth in its operational areas.

He said the platform was expected to hold series of regional level CSO experience sharing and consultative forms to strengthen cross learning.

The NGGGA is a five-year project supported by USAID and implemented by a consortium of NGOs led by CARE International with Action Aid Ghana, WANEP-Ghana, SEND Ghana being the other partners who are working in 28 districts in Northern Ghana.

As part of Feed the Future, the US government’s global hunger and food security initiative, the NGGA works to fortify the co-ordination and integration of decentralised agricultural development and to promote responsive governance for improved agricultural development in Ghana.


Source: modernghana.com

Jantong-Daboashie gets Rice Processing Centre

By Albert Futukpor, GNA
Jantong-Daboashie (N/R), March 12, GNA – A Rice Processing Centre, has been inaugurated at Jantong-Daboashie in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region to help farmers to process their rice for improved income.

The GH¢ 216,446 facility, which is to contribute to the reduction of unemployment among the youth and women in the District, has the capacity to process about 100,000 kilogrammes of paddy rice per day.

The facility was provided by the Presbyterian Farmers’ Training and Child Development Programme, (PFT – CDP) a non-governmental organisation, under its Youth and Women Economic Empowerment through Skills Training and Enterprise Development project.

It is being funded by the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada.

Reverend Dr Solomon Sumani Sule-Saa, Chairperson of the Northern Presbytery, who spoke during the inauguration of the facility at Jantong-Daboashie, expressed hope that the project would bring relief to the teaming youth and women, who were the backbone of economic transformation in the area.

So far, 80 youth and 40 women have been trained in good agronomic practices and rice processing in the area.

Prior to the provision of the facility, young and adult women carried parboiled rice on their heads and walked for more than 30 kilometres to mill in Tamale while other rice farmers sold paddy rice at cheap prices to middlemen.

Reverend Sule-Saa said opportunities abounded in the District and advised the residents not to migrate to other places in search of better conditions.

Meanwhile, PFT – CDP has also formed 45 Village Savings and Loans Associations in 15 communities in the District where more than GH? 156,000 have been mobilized.

Plans are also on course to roll out Youth Savings and Loans Associations in the area to amongst others mobilise resources for investment.

PFT – CDP also intends to add groundnut shelling machines and subsequently a shea butter extraction plant in the area to boost economic activities.

Mr George Baiden, Country Director of CCFC assured of continued partnership with PFT – CDP to roll out other innovative interventions for the benefit of all.

Alhaji Abdul-Karim Yahaya, District Coordinating Director expressed the District Assembly’s support for the initiative, saying it would help improve incomes of the people.

A representative of the Paramount Chief of Jantong expressed gratitude to PFT – CDP and CCFC for the provision of the facility, which would enable residents to add value to rice produced.


Source: modernghana.com

Northern Regions urged to embrace climate Adaptation Fund Project








The Chiefs and people of the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions have been urged to embrace the Adaptation Fund Project to help increase climate resilience and enhance sustainable land  and water management in the areas.

The Adaptation Fund was established under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2001 to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MEST) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing the project in some selected communities in the north.

Mr Asher Nkegbe, the Upper East Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), made the call when the technical team of the Project undertook separates community visits to the beneficiary communities in the Upper East Region to engage them on the project implementation and to solicit for their support in the process.

He explained that as a result of de-siltation of many rivers and dams coupled with the erratic rainfall patterns in the regions, farming activities were often affected thereby lowering food productivity.

The Regional Director said the Project would make significant impact in the area of climate change and would improve upon the livelihoods of the beneficiary communities and urged all the stakeholders involved particularly traditional rulers and the District Assemblies in the Project implementation areas to get actively involved.

“The project when successfully implemented has the potential of not only improving upon the livelihoods of community members , but will also help curb rural urban migration among our youth since it will  provide an avenue for dry season farming”.

Dr Emmanuel Techie Obeng, the Technical Advisor of the Project, said among the project objectives was to contribute to the restoration of rivers and dams and also help harvest the perennial spillage of the Bagre dam in Burkina Faso to help fill the Akosombo dam.

He said all the necessary structures had been put in place including the national, regional and District committees as well as committees at the community level for engagements and the selection of ideal ecosystems management suitable for the respective beneficiary communities.

The Project would de-silt dams and dugouts, support rain water harvesting, create buffer zones, drill more boreholes, mechanize high boreholes and dugouts for irrigation, support community based beekeeping, create fire belts, establish community nursery for seedling production as well as introduce cage fishing in rehabilitated water bodies.

Mr Peter Dery, the National Coordinator of the Adaptation Fund Project, said the project was targeting ten Districts in the three regions of the north with a total of fifty selected communities and indicated that the selected areas were done based on their vulnerability to climate change.

“The project is to directly benefit 60,000 people from the target project regions and indirectly benefit over eight million Ghanaians living along the Volta River Basin. It is also expected to increase access to water and diversification of livelihoods activities and increase income generation activities by 30 per cent of the households in the target project committees”, he said.

The beneficiary  communities in the Upper East Region where the Project team  visited and  engaged with the communities during their community entry outreach included the Tambalug, Kuka, Zabugu , Gentiga Tampizua, all in the Bawku Municipal, Nosgua , Farik, Tilli , Azupunpuga, Timonde and Dagunga , in the Bawku West  District.

The rest are Yidongo , Gorigo, Adaboya, Vea and Amanga in the Bongo District and Wiesi, Kanjarga,  Chansa, Bogninga and Bachuisa in the Builsa South District.


Source: ghanabusinessnews.com

‘Donkey Factory’ Employs Over 100 Youth In Walewale

By: Edmond Gyebi

A new factory has emerged at Walewale in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region, creating huge employment opportunities for many of the unemployed youth in the area.

The factory, called “Blue Coast Ghana Company Limited”, is owned by some Chinese nationals for the production of fresh donkey meat and skins for export to Chinese markets.

The company started operations about three weeks ago (January 4th 2017) and has already employed over 100 youth within the West Mamprusi District.

The one million dollar factory, which falls in line with the government’s one district one factory initiative, is certainly going to make donkeys one of the hottest or most sought-after animals in the Mamprusi areas of the Northern Region of Ghana, and neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

At the moment, the company, which has acquired all the necessary legal documents for its operations, slaughters, at least, 100 donkeys daily for storage in well-designed modern cold rooms, awaiting the right quantity for export to China.

Blue Coast Ghana, according to its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nicholas Leo, also has plans to process other animals such as cow, sheep, goats and poultry for the local markets.

Speaking in an interview with The Chronicle, he said that donkey meat is one of the best delicacies in China, and was optimistic that the Blue Coast Ghana Company would soon be expanded to employ hundreds of the youth in Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.

The company has different departments or units such as slaughtering unit, packaging unit, storage unit, animal care unit, transport unit and security unit among others, where most of the youth are employed.

Mr. Nicholas Leo told The Chronicle that his company was established in the Northern Region, not purposely because of the availability of donkeys to serve as raw material, but to help reduce the rate of poverty and unemployment among the people in the region.

00388-3Another factor, he said, was to have an easy access to the donkey markets in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, where the animals are much more available for sale.

Even though there were earlier speculations that Blue Coast Ghana Company Limited was buying the raw material (donkeys) from the locals in Walewale, leading to donkey theft, the CEO completely denied the allegation. He maintained that the company had operated for only three weeks, and all the donkeys they had processed were imported from Burkina Faso and Mali in two articulator trucks.

Mr. Nicholas Leo said that upon their arrival in the district, the local authorities, including the chiefs and the West Mamprusi District Assembly, told them that the donkeys were serving good purposes for the local farmers, and must, therefore, look elsewhere for supplies, which instruction his company had strictly adhered to.

“So it was a rumour, and it is never true that we buy stolen donkeys from Walewale area. Before we even came down to establish this company in Walewale, we had already identified big markets in other West African countries, and entered into business agreements with them. The donkeys in Walewale are just few, and they cannot sustain our company, but if in future the local people want to go into donkey rearing and sell to our company, we will support them in any way we can.”

He stated that the company had over 10 branches across the world, and their policy was that they do not deplete the local communities in which they operate, off the donkeys.

Mr. Nicholas Leo hinted that Blue Coast Ghana had identified several areas of support for the community to develop, reduce poverty and joblessness among the people. “My company is just new; we have not even exported a single container to China, and we haven’t made any profit. But as the time goes, we are going to do a lot to help the community to grow. So we are going to fulfill our Corporate Social Responsibilities.”

He, however, complained bitterly about the high electricity bills, which, he said, was highly unbearable and has the potential to cripple the company. He said that the company buys close to GH¢10,000 of power every week.

However, some of the workers who spoke to this paper, including Yakubu Farouk, Emmanuel Tano and one Sadick, expressed joy working with Blue Coast Ghana Company Limited. According to them, working with the company had brought smiles to the faces of their families, as they no longer find it difficult to cater for their needs.

The West Mamprusi District Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Alhassan Ibrahim Yahaya, said that his outfit was aware of the existence of Blue Coast Ghana Company Limited, but he did not have much information about their operations. He appealed to them not to make attempts to buy donkeys from the local people, since the donkeys were helping in the development of agriculture.

The General Secretary of the Concerned Muslim Youth Association in Mamprusi, Sulemana Hisham, who has also paid a visit to the company, expressed satisfaction about their operations. He reminded the management of their Corporate Social Responsibilities, and also making sure that they employ more of the youth in Walewale.

The Youth Leader downplayed agitations by some Muslims in the area who were allegedly planning to attack the company for dealing inmeat they considered as a taboo to eat.

Mr. Hisham appealed to his people to see the company as a development partner, but not an enemy, since the meat is not processed for consumption in the local market.

00371-25“The fact that we don’t consume the meat doesn’t mean that everybody should not consume. I spoke with the company when I visited them, because people came with a lot of complaints, and I saw that they are packaging all the meat for export. We must be happy that we have this company that is here to employ some of our own people. As a community, we need to only protect our donkeys if we feel that people are stealing to sell to the company. So that there will be a win-win situation.”


Source: thechronicle.com.gh