TechnoServe has introduced its flagship Mobile Training Unit (MTU) equipped with an interactive giant LED screen, a multimedia system, internet and other facilities to support and improve farm level productivity of smallholder farmers in northern Ghana.
Launched in August 2013, the Smallholder Business Development Programme, seeks to improve the livelihoods of more than 20,000 female and male farmers and their families in rural Ghana over three years.
A statement from Technoserve said the programme trains smallholder farmers in agronomic best practices and supports farmer groups with extension support from pre-planting through to the harvest period.
It also provides intensive “farming as a business” training and farmer business organisation support in the post-harvest period and dry season.
To deliver maximum value, the programme engages and seeks to create synergy with numerous stakeholders, including leading private sector firms, financial institutions, and local government.
At the centre of this approach is the MTU, which introduces training concepts and mechanisation alternatives to farmers at the start of each key stage of the farming cycle.
The MTU allows the programme to reach lesser served rural communities, minimise travel costs and inconvenience to farmers, enable farmers to see the application of best practices, compare the results of demonstration plots in their own communities, and help to maximise the programme’s reach and impact.
Speaking at a farmers training session, Samuel Baba Adongo, Deputy Country Director of Technoserve noted:
“In rural Africa, smallholder farmers face key market failures that prevent them from improving productivity, accessing markets and finance, and increasing their incomes to break out of the cycle of poverty.
Therefore under this new initiative in Ghana, TechnoServe with the support of its funders will engage the MTU in introducing new technologies; helping farmers strengthen their agronomic and business skills; and linking them to markets, inputs, and finance to improve their livelihoods on a long-term basis”.
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