Concern Universal Ghana, a United Kingdom International Development Charity, has donated some post-harvest farm equipment to 30 farmers’ groups and off-takers in the Upper West and Upper East Regions.
The equipment, valued at about GH¢140,000.00, include five multi-crop threshers, weighing scales, 42 tarpaulins and 150 wooden pallets. With funding from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the charity body acquired the machinery to assist farmers to improve the quality of grains to attract buyers and consumers to enhance their incomes, while promoting food security.
Presenting the equipment at a ceremony, in Wa, Madam Antoinette Addo, the Project Manager for the Sorghum Value Chain Project, said the project was a multi-stakeholder one, which began in January 2014. It aims at developing resilient livelihoods for small-holder sorghum farmers.
She said for the past two years, a total of 10,000 metric-tonnes of sorghum, valued at 14 million Ghana Cedis, had been delivered to the Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited, one of the major markets of the project.
She explained that the project had carried out many capacity building activities for sorghum farmers on improved production techniques, post-harvest handling and access to improved seeds, among others, which had benefited about 11,000 farmers.
The farmers have been linked to aggregators of the Breweries to help them access ready markets for the produce. Madam Addo expressed the hope that the items would help farmers to produce quality grains and help mitigate the post-harvest challenges.
She encouraged the beneficiaries to put the equipment to good use to improve the living standards of the actors within the sorghum value chain. Mr. Anthony Poore, the Managing Director of Agriaccess Ghana Limited, who received the items on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked Concern Universal, saying the equipment had come at the right time, which would improve production, facilitate threshing and increase supply.
Mr. Francis Benyogpuo Pinto, a beneficiary from Wa East District, expressed gratitude to their benefactor, saying the assistance would enhance production and improve threshing. “Our grains will now be of quality,” he said. “We will no longer have stones and sand mixed in our grains, which used to be a hindrance to buyers and consumers.
“Many farmers, hitherto, had been threshing grains by the traditional method of using stick on the floor, and this does not only make our grains look unattractive, but also the process is tiring and time wasting.” Mr. Pinto said the provision of the machinery would, therefore, encourage farmers to produce on large scales.