The National Food and Agriculture Show (FAGRO) secretariat, is leading a 13 member Ghanaian delegation to the National Farmers Union (NFU) convention. The convention is slated for March 8 -11, 2014 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
The NFU convention is an organization dedicated to family farm agriculture, cooperative businesses, and rural communities, across the world to gather, share ideas, interacts with insightful speakers in discussion panel, on diverse means to developing agriculture in both developed and developing countries.
The theme for 2014 convention is ‘Spicing up family agriculture’. This aims at providing an excellent opportunity for participants to promote, learn, experience and discuss trade and investment opportunities among themselves, according to Roger Johnson, NFU President.
The Ghanaian delegation is drawn from the Ghana Free Zones Board, Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) and Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD).
“This year we hope it gives Ghanaian agricultural stakeholders an opportunity to identify issues, concerns, and opportunities regarding the sector,” Leader of delegation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa said.
According to Kathleen Fitzgerald of NFU, “The Ghanaian delegation will be briefed by an NFU official about the convention history, its structure and the role for farmers vis a vis the role in government policies, among others. They will also make a trip to the Sante Fe Farmers’ Market and meet with an award-winning sustainable farmer Don Bustos, who will brief the delegation on his activities as a farmer, his low greenhouse technology and Farmer’s Training programs. They will also possibly visit his farm and Training grounds”.
Participants at the convention will also take part in a B2B breakout sessions on “Building a Successful Food Co-operation and How to Help New Farmers with emphasis on Veterans”. Additionally, there will be Investment meetings which will be capped with an exclusive banquet to be hosted by the NFU president Roger Johnson
The convention will also afford attendees the opportunity to get a taste of the local area through several activities. A tour will be offered to the facilities at the Taos County Economic Development Center (TCEDC)- a model for community-supported agriculture and local foods.
There will also be the time for delegates to consider additions and amendments to the NFU policy through farmers’ union presentations. This demonstrates the grassroots process and encourages farmers to make sure their voice is heard by attending the convention and considering bringing forward policy suggestions.
This is the 3rd time FAGRO is participating in the NFU Convention, Stephanie Adzimah, FAGRO’s external communications consultant said. “At FAGRO we will continue to provide an engaging platform for Ghanaian Agriculture stakeholders to expand their knowledge and strike the need partnership to grow the sector”. Agriculture remains the bedrock of the Ghanaian economy, she concluded.
Speakers at the convention include Tom Vilsack, US Secretary of Agriculture, Kent Peppler, president of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU), Jeff Witte, New Mexico Director/Secretary of Agriculture, Jason Fearneyhough, Wyoming Director of Agriculture among other dignitaries.
NFU is very supportive of the continued partnership with FAGRO to strengthen Agriculture security with homegrown stakeholders. This initiative will strengthen national food security while providing new economic opportunities for the Ghanaian farmers “remarked NFU President Roger Johnson”.