Innovations for Poverty Action ( IPA) Launched Agricultural Development Project in Northern Ghana

A research and non-profit making organisation, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), has launched its two agricultural projects in northern Ghana. The projects dubbed: Examining Underinvestment in Agriculture (EUI) and Disseminating Innovative Resources and Technologies to Smallholders (DIRTS) are aimed at conducting research and supporting farmers to secure insurance for their farming activities.
According to IPA’s report on the research conducted on the first project, Examining Underinvestment in Agriculture (EUI) from 2009 to 2012, based on a 1, 406 households in 84 communities of the Northern Region of Ghana, to evaluate agricultural productivity; technology adoption, the result shows that risk more than capital and other constraint creates barriers to agricultural investment by small holding farmers, hence, the poor agricultural productivity.The study hypothesis, evaluated by IPA; increased access to capital and increased access to risk mitigation strategies (uptake of rainfall insurance), showed that farmers insurance uptake increases investment, but not necessarily profits, the demand for agricultural insurance is highly sensitive to price and that other factors including trust and social networks influence the demand for insurance.

The Disseminating Innovative Resources and Technologies to Smallholders (DIRTS), which started in 2013, is expected to end in 2016. DIRT will cover 162 Communities, 3,240 households and 12 districts in the Northern Region. The districts included; Central Gonja, Sagnarigu, Karaga, Mion, Saboba and Savelugu. The rest are Gushegu, Tolon, Kumbungu, Yendi, Zabzugu and Tatale.
The study is also to address under-investment in agriculture and low productivity through technology and risk-mitigation. According to the Deputy Country Director of the IPA, Madeleen Husselman, the projects are to boost farmers’ production in their catchment areas.
She noted that, farmers have always been producing on the low, due to lack of insurance and courage to take up risk for their farms. She also pointed out that, Community Extensions Agents (CEA) are being trained to use smart phones to receive messages in rural communities which aid farmers in their year round farming activities.
Madeleen Husselman stated that insurance allows smallholder farmers to increase farm investment when matched with complementary extension services and input technology access. Highlighting that such investment will improve per-acre production and profitability of their farming.

IPA had partnered with State institutions like Ghana Agricultural Insurers Pool (GAIP), Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), in the course of these research.

Credit: Developmentnewsafrica.com

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African Economic Conference 2014

Knowledge and Innovation for Africa’s Transformation

01 NOVEMBER 2014 TO 03 NOVEMBER 2014
Abidjan

The ninth edition of the African Economic Conference (AEC 2014) will be held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from 1-3 November on the theme, “Knowledge and Innovation for Africa’s Transformation”.

This year’s conference will offer a unique avenue for researchers, policymakers and development practitioners from Africa, and elsewhere, to debate Africa’s soft infrastructure needs and their catalytic impact on speed and scope of economic transformation and inclusive growth. In the light of Africa’s search for economic transformation and its current skills and technology deficit in the face of knowledge-intensive and innovation-driven global competition, Africa needs to urgently devise strategies to capitalize on its youth bulge to drive technological innovation, skills development and the search for new sources of comparative advantage.

The conference will reflect on the critical barriers to be overcome and seek to capture the lessons to be learnt from various experiences on the continent to guide the development of appropriate policy responses and investment frameworks (public and private). In addition, critical regional dimensions will be examined.

AEC is an annual conference targeted at researchers. It is organized jointly by the African Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Development Program.

Objectives:

The key objectives of the African Economic Conference series are to:

- promote knowledge management as an important driver of policy dialogue, good policy planning and implementation;

- foster dialogue that promotes the exchange of ideas and innovative thinking among researchers, development practitioners and African policymakers;

- encourage and enhance research on economic and policy issues related to the development of African economies;

- provide an opportunity for young African researchers, Africans in the Diaspora, regional and sub-regional organizations to disseminate their research findings as well as share information with African policymakers on the work they do in the region

- AEC 2014 will explore Africa’s existing skills, technology and innovation capacities against the needs required to realise Africa’s transformation agenda and debate practical policies and strategies that can rapidly eliminate existing deficits and grow capacities across all sectors of the economy. The Conference will comprise a number of plenary and break-out sessions that will feature presentations and discussions by prominent academics, policy makers, business actors and opinion leaders, as well as representatives from development partner organisations.

Call for Papers: Click here for the Call for Papers

Past African Economic Conference: http://www.uneca.org/

Credit: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa ( UNECA)

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Vegetable Sector in Ghana Receive Investment

GhanaVeg, an initiative supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana, has presented a grant of GHC 200, 000 each to two entrepreneurs to finance their business plans.

The beneficiaries are Catherine Krobo-Edusei of Eden Tree Limited and Tikola, an agent of East-West Seeds.

The grant will support Mrs. Krobo-Edusei of Eden Tree to work together with 120 farmers who are suppliers of vegetables to her company. Eden Tree will enter into contractual arrangements with the farmers who will receive assistance in terms of quality seeds, agronomic training and certification.

Tikola, through the fund, will expand its reach to 50 well-trained agro-dealers in the major vegetable producing regions.

It will also develop 19 demonstration sites and reach more than 4,000 farmers with superior vegetable seeds. The targeted farmers are expected to increase their productivity by 30 to 40 percent.

The Netherlands Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Ms. Lilianne Ploumen, congratulated winners of the GhanaVeg Business Opportunity Fund.

She said the initiative fits well within the new Dutch policy of trade and aid, using innovative approaches in reducing food insecurity by engaging the private sector.

She said a conducive environment should be created for business and private sector development. This, she said, will be one of the surest ways of solving youth unemployment and food insecurity problems for a sustainable growth.

She said the Netherlands is gradually reducing its aid to Ghana and refocusing its efforts on building and strengthening trade relations and private sector initiatives.

“The agriculture sector, and in particular the vegetable sector, is an exemplary sector where Ghana and the Netherlands have much to offer to each other.

“The Netherlands is in the top-three of the world’s biggest exporters and Ghana has a huge potential for delivering top-quality vegetables to both the domestic and international market,” she said.?

It is reckoned that the potential value for export-vegetables in Ghana is estimated at US$250 million, as the sector is growing at more than 10 percent per year.

Currently, the country exports 15,000 tonnes of vegetables annually and imports US$85million worth of onions.

Credit: B&FT Ghana

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Sale of fake agrochemicals booms at Kejetia-CropLife Ghana

farm The Kejetia terminal and its surroundings in Kumasi have been identified as the hub of the sale of counterfeit agrochemical products in the country.

The resultant effects of the nefarious activities of these unscrupulous businessmen are untold hardship to farmers due to low harvest and possible health hazards to consumers of such farm produce.

The practice also put the lives of farmers and other workers involved in the value chain process in danger as they come into contact with these fake chemicals since they may not have all the necessary information on the precautionary measures to take.

The fake chemicals also cause irreparable damage to the soil as some of the ingredients may be detrimental to the environment.

These counterfeiters have been able to succeed due to the low literacy rate among the farmers, who are unable to detect the differences thus making it easier for the dealers in these fake agrochemical products to succeed in their trade.

Confirmation

The Ashanti Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Kwaku Minta Fordjor, who confirmed this to the Daily Graphic, explained that Kumasi was becoming the hub for this illegal activity due to its central location, as it was easier to connect to other regions from Kejetia.

Earlier, Mr Frederick Brandford Boampong, the Programme Manager for Crop Life Ghana, a non-governmental organisation had indicated at a day’s anti-counterfeiting workshop for stakeholders in the agrochemical industry that some of the counterfeiters had perfected the act such that some of the fake products could escape the scrutiny of trained professionals.

Mr Boampong advised dealers in agrochemical products and inputs to always deal with registered companies that have registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and cautioned farmers to always ensure that all the products they brought were approved by the EPA.

Credit: GraphicOnline Gh

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Ghanaian Company to launch Satellite Information Service for Farmers

SBS-satellite info service-Ghana

Syecomp Ltd: Agro-Climatic Information Service-Ghana

Syecomp Business Services Ltd, a leading Ghanaian geospatial survey and mapping company will be launching a service to provide meteorological information services on agriculture for smallholder and commercial farmers in Ghana.

This is the first service of its kind in Ghana where farmers will receive and also request for scientific information on weather, soil and crop-related conditions of their farms. “The use of quantitative, geospatial data obtained from farmlands and its effective transformation into qualitative information understandable by farmers is a unique game-changer to challenges faced by farmers in Ghana with regards to plant growth, field moisture, yield determination and mineral deposits”, said Mr. Solomon Elorm Allavi, the company’s Chief Operations Manager.

The negative impact of climate change, water scarcity and food security on the productivity of smallholder and commercial farmers in Ghana needs to be addressed through innovative scientific approaches. Even in seasons of abundant water, knowledge on appropriate use is very limited. The use of satellite and remote sensing data to assist farmers in their decision-making is thus essential for improved productivity, high yields and improvement in their economic livelihoods.

This technology will be powered via an interactive web platform and information disseminated through voice, SMS, and in print based on request from farmers and other actors in agriculture.

For enquiries:
Phone: +233 20 144 2191
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Enactus Kenya and Syngenta launch youth Agribusiness and Communication Competition in Africa

Syngenta Foundation and Enactus Kenya have partnered to launch an African Agribusiness Competition for young people.
The Africa Agribusiness Competition targets youth aged 18 – 30 years and has two parts: an essay (or Business Idea Competition) and video clips (or Agribusiness Messaging Competition). The contest is aimed at promoting new business opportunities in crop value chains in Africa; raise awareness of opportunities in agriculture; identify wealth creation activities among communities in Africa and make agriculture “cool” for the youth.
Kindly visit: http://www.agribiz4africa.com/ for submission form and further details on the contest.

Competition deadline: June 10, 2014

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Agriculture providing jobs for the youth in Ghana

Youth in GhanaThe World Bank has estimated that Africa has more than 50% of the world’s fertile and unused land and agriculture accounts for the 25% of the continent’s GDP. A development in the agricultural sector would lead to a sustained economic growth in the whole continent and every country would benefit from it.

In Ghana, agriculture is the most important economic sector employing more than half of the population. Checking on local free online classified websites, you could see a section dedicated to job vacancies and other job opportunities, but the unemployment rate is still very high. Even though the economy in Ghana, like in the rest of the continent, has been growing sustainably in the last years, fighting poverty and decreasing the youth unemployment rate is still a big issue for this country that could be solved simply investing more into agriculture, adding more value to this sector and making it more appealing to young people. In fact, agriculture could really absorb millions of young people looking for a job and focusing on this sector could really help the country enhancing productivity, reducing food prices and its need for imported goods.

In order to do so, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Ghana has developed the so-called Youth in Agriculture Program together with the National Youth Employment Program, an agency created in 2006 to motivate and empower young people to be an active part in the social and economic growth of their country. The Youth in Agriculture program has been introduced to facilitate food and nutrition security and sustainability in agriculture production, but also to change the preconception that agriculture is just for unskilled and uneducated people, making them aware that today it is a commercial activity that requires innovation and energy and that can create job opportunities in research, environment and also engineering. Young men and women interested in the program get the chance to run their own farm and fisheries or take care of the production of livestock and poultry choosing to use modern technology with the help of the government that will assist them and provide them with the land and equipment for the benefits of a whole country.

Author: Angy Knowles

My name is Angy, I am a freelance editor and I’m currently writing for Ghanaian and international blogs and websites writing articles on various topics such as sports, technology, fashion, beauty, career and employment. My hobbies and interests are reading, travelling and sports. Actually I study jounalism at university. A job I would like to do in the future would be to work as a foreign correspondent journalist as I love travelling and learning about other cultures . My hobbies are also photography and art.

My passion for writing has followed me throughout decades and is for me the most important thing in my life.

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