Relief for Ejura Maize farmers, as government storage facilities near completion

Accra, Aug. 21, GNA – Mr Hanan Abdul-Wahab,
Chief Executive of National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO),
  has commended efforts by government to
provide storage facilities for maize farmers across the country including;
Ejura in the Ashanti Region.

Ejura is considered to be one of the best
maize production centres in the country.

A statement signed by the CEO and copied to
the Ghana News Agency in Accra said works on the construction of two warehouses
under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) have reached
an advanced stage.

He said their completion would serve as a
major booster to guarantee food security and transform the agricultural sector.

The construction of the 2,000-metric ton
warehouses will augment the existing storage facilities at Ejura Farms built in
1960s and currently being rehabilitated by the Ministry of Food and
Agriculture.

The warehouses being built by the Ministry
of Special Development Initiatives under the 1District 1warehouse are fitted
with modern equipment, including; freezers and dryers to enable them dry their
harvested maize during the raining season.

Mr Abdul-Wahab said the IPEP would also
provide basic infrastructure, including; warehouses, markets, water systems and
sanitation facilities, as part of the mandate of IPEP to promote socio-economic
improvements in agricultural communities.

His comments followed an appeal to
government by maize farmers at Ejura Soboline in the Ejura- Sekyedumase
District in the Ashanti Region for the provision of storage facilities.

A maize farmer’s group representative, said
due to the lack of the storage facilities, their produce went bad and rendered
them with losses, but the Buffer Stock CEO maintains, the situation would
improve significantly due to government’s interventions.

He explained that the construction of the
warehouses in all the districts would not only minimize post-harvest loses, but
would also improve the marketing of agricultural produce and help address poor
farm-level practices, poor handling, and poor storage activities that exposed
farm produce to moulds, rodents and other pests.

“Apart from grains, the warehouses will also
promote non-traditional exports. Ghanaian farmers will now be able to store
their farm produce in the most efficient and effective manner to enable them
export, create employment and earn foreign exchange,” he said.

On lack of ready market for their produce,
Mr. Abdul-Wahab said the warehouses would 
also be certified to enable them participate in the Warehouse Receipting
System, being implemented under Ghana Commodities Exchange project, financial
inclusion of smallholder farmers.

He said it would aid farmers depositing
their farm produces in the warehouses, and use them to address their financial
needs in various ways under the Warehouse Receipt System.

The NAFCO boss said his outfit had
positioned itself in readiness to purchase food commodities, especially grains
during the coming harvest season for both state emergency food reserve and for
the food supplies under the Free Senior High School programme.

He hoped that farmers would be offered huge
relief at the end of the season.

“Government, through the Ministry of Food
and Agriculture and its allied agencies is committed to reducing the plight of
farmers and nothing is being left to chance; the farmers can be rest assured”,
he said.

He advised the farmers to liase with NAFCO
and the Ghana Commodity Exchange instead of patronising middlemen who may offer
them very low prices.

GNA

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