Business News of Tuesday, 7 January 2020
Dr Julius Kotir, a Research Fellow with the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia, has said researchers need to develop new technologies and innovations for farmers to adopt to transform their activities.
He said a farm was like a factory with input and output and needs the appropriate investment to generate the expected outcome.
Dr Kotir said this at a farmer’s forum in Nandom, in the Upper West Region, organised by Tieme Ndo, a Social Enterprise based in the district.
It was on the theme: “Farming as a Business: Building the Entrepreneurial Capacity of Small Scale Farmers”.
The forum was to, among other things, celebrate smallholder farmers for their contribution to ensuring food security in the country.
“Research and farming go hand in hand,” he noted, adding that his outfit aimed at researching into innovative ways of meeting the changing needs of farmers.
Dr Kotir encouraged farmers to develop the culture of saving, teamwork, and support for each other to help advance their activities.
He urged the Government to provide farmers with the needed equipment such as tractors and harvesters to help reduce the difficulties farmers went through to access that equipment.
Mr Gaeten Baligi, the Nandom District Agriculture Director, said the objective of Tieme Ndo to develop the business capacity of farmers was in line with the activities of the Government.
He said his department was implementing the Medium Term Agricultural Sector Investment Plan to develop agribusiness among farmers through effective extension technology transfer.
This, he said, would help improve the financial strength of farmers to solve some challenges they faced such as lack of market and credit facilities.
Mr Moses Yangnemenga, the Chief Executive Officer of Tieme Ndo, said his organisation had been supporting farmers with extension services and farm inputs among other things since its inception in 2017.
“We are also working to enhance entrepreneurial skills of farmers to enable them to harness opportunities to improve their income status,” he added.
Mr Yangnemenga said 340 farmers had, so far, benefited from credit extension package while 200 farmers were still benefiting.
He added that 1,500 farmers from 50 communities in the Nandom and Lambussie districts and the Jirapa Municipality had benefited from input support from the organisation.
He said the organisation would extend its support to the Wa West District in the next cropping season and scout for the market for beneficiary farmers in all its operational areas.
Some of the farmers who spoke to the Ghana News Agency commended the Tieme Ndo for the support saying it had helped improve their yield from two bags to nine bags per acre of maize.
The organisation rewarded 40 farmers with knapsack prayers, Wellington Boots, and cutlasses among others for their exceptional performance under the support services.