Sissala West gets warehouses to promote dry season farming


By: Rafiq Salam, Upper West Region

Farmers in the Sissala West district of the Upper West Region will no more have worries as to where they will store their farm.

They will also no longer depend on rain-fed agriculture alone because they now equipped with the logistics to enable all-year-round farming.

Civil Society Organization, Solidaridad International, handed over to the Baka Wiiro farmers Association warehouses at Toroyili and Wiiro to enable the farmers to undertake dry season farming and store the yields to sustain employment and food production all year round.

This, Solidaridad International hopes, will enhance food security in the district and region.

Two other warehouses, being constructed at Sakai and Tawsaw in the Sissala East District of the region, are expected to be completed and handed over to the farmers by April this year.

The 750, 000 Ghana Cedis project does not come with only the warehouses, but solar-mechanised borehole, a reservoir and a five-acre fenced area to be used for dry season farming – a gesture the farmers believe would boost their incomes and provide cover for them during the lean season.

The Wiiro Community project is under the four million euro Sustainable Maize Programme, a five-year Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme jointly implemented by Solidaridad West Africa and Masara N’ARZIKI Farmers Association with funding from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The project is intended to help the farmers’ increase their yields as a means to fight poverty and at the same time ensure food security a region noted for the difficulties occasioned by environmental conditions.

The Upper West Region experiences just a single farming season that does not last beyond six months. Subsequent to that most of the farmers are compelled to idle or migrate to the southern belt for greener pastures.

The project seeks to strengthen the farm management skills and market position of 12,000 farmers and introduce more resilient and ecologically balanced cropping systems.

In a brief address before he handed over the facility to the Baka Wiiro farmers association, the Regional Rirector of Solidaridad West Africa, Isaac Gyamfi, said the project was designed to give the people an all-year farming employment capable of yielding more than the lure of migration to the south.

The Project Engineer, Jan Van Saane, who represented the Netherlands government stated that the Dutch government has moved from aid to trade to create opportunities to the less privilege to develop their own potentials to make them self-sufficient.

The acting president of the Baka Wiiro Farmers Association, Cosmos Wibonto, on behalf of his colleague farmers thanked the Dutch government, Masara N’arziki and Solidaridad for the kind gesture.



PEG& BIMA To Reward Solar Customers with Free Insurance Cover In Ghana

By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo,

As part of its efforts of providing quality healthcare to Ghanaians , a global Micro -Insurance and health pioneer company called BIMA and PEG Africa has taken a giant step by rewarding Solar customers with free insurance cover.

Briefing Journalists in Accra , the Executive Officer of PEG Africa Mr. Hugh Whalan , hinted that PEG and BIMA have already conducted a successful pilot project of providing insurance to over 2000 families.

Adding that, they will now scale the program nationwide , providing a vital financial safety net that creates an even more affordable way for Ghanaians to fund energy needs.

This exclusive hospitalization insurance product pays out for every night spent in hospital as a result of illness or injury.

More so, for peace of mind, the PEG hospitalization product is underwritten by Prudential Life, a company with 1,268 trillion USD in assets under management and 49,000 employees.

” PEGS provides financing for solar products to low -income households on a 12 month rent-to-own plan.

PEG’s typical customer lives in a rural area and earns $5-$10 per day, spending up to 30% of that income on poor quality fuels such as kerosene, candles and batteries”, he noted.

This he said, while these customers have little ability to purchase a solar home system for cash , the payment plan offered by PEG allows them to purchase it over time, building ownership in the asset over 12 months with daily payments of 50 cents.

One of the primary reasons that PEG’s customer cease repaying their solar loan on-time is a health emergency that requires hospitalization .

“Poor consumers often have little or no savings, and an expected emergency or health issue can mean they spend the following months living hand -to-mouth .

Rising this challenge, PEG worked with BIMA to create a unique insurance product that is specifically tailored to the kinds of emergency situations by a poor rural household “, he explained.

According to him, has worked hard to design a product around the needs of their customers and the results from the pilot are very positive.

“We are excited to be the forefront of our industry , being the first player to provide these kinds of value -added services to rural consumers.

With this cover, customers have the security of knowing that unexpected healthcare costs won’t limit their ability to access life-changing solar power”, he said.

According to him , PEG is a leading pay-as-you- go financing company in West Africa, operating in Ghana and Ivory Coast that provides credit for useful and productive assets to off-grid customers.

The Country Manager at BIMA Mr. Russell Haresign , noted that PEG hospitalization product means that a period of illness or injury should not prevent the family from paying for the services since it needs to succeed.

We are very proud to work with PEG, creating an innovative solution that tackles a business challenge whilst creating real value for customers.

According to him, BIMA uses mobile technology to deliver affordable insurance and health products to low-income consumers in emerging markets and families cannot access these vital services through traditional channels .