Joanna Adamson (middle) Australian High Commissioner, together with the dignitaries and participants at the event.
The Australian High Commission in Ghana is organizing training sessions for agric extension officers in all the 10 regions of the country.
Under the Australian-funded Farmer-Based Organizations (FBO) Capacity Development project, nearly 570 agriculture extension personnel have been trained over the last 12 months.
The project, being jointly implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, has helped to equip regional, district and community level extension officers with knowledge and skills in contemporary agricultural extension delivery methods, agribusiness and farm management, post-harvest management and agriculture value chain analysis.
Officers have also been trained to transfer knowledge to many extension staff as well as farmer-based organizations.
Ms Joanna Adamson, who is expected to attend one of the 40 training programmes for agricultural extension officers at Dodowa said, ‘I was pleased to hear about the commitment of the Ministry towards the project and the enthusiasm of the extension agents to apply their newly acquired knowledge.’
She said the support received under the FBO Capacity Development project would enable farmers and their associations to harness the benefits of improved agricultural practices and a focus on market orientation.
Ms. Adamson observed that Australia’s development partnership with Ghana was geared towards building Ghana’s capacity in key sectors such as agriculture.
‘In agriculture, as elsewhere, people are a key resource. That is why Australia is supporting the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to invest in extension officers,’ she said.
Helping farmers and their organizations to see farming as a business, and to learn new ways for accessing markets and resources can make an enormous difference in farmers’ lives and translate into increased economic growth and reduced poverty across the country, she said.
She said in addition to the training aspect, the project aims to build the capacity of the FBO Secretariat in the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
‘I’m pleased to say that an Australian volunteer is working with the FBO Secretariat to support the development of a database and website. These will allow farmers, private sector and policymakers to share information on commodities and farmer associations,’ she indicated.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
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