Officials of Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP) on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th August 2020 organized a two-day workshop for agribusinesses, smallholder farmers and the media on Climate change resilience measures in Kumasi.
Participants came from regions including Bono East, Eastern, Oti, Ashanti, Central, Greater Accra, Volta and Western north regions.
Held under the theme; “BUILDING CHAMPIONS IN AGRIBUSINESS VALUE CHAINS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCE” the training equipped participants with an understanding of climate information, future changes in climate, implications for changes in hazards and risk, possible impacts and the identification of situations they can cope with and others that they have to adapt to.
It also empowered participants to serve as climate change champions and focal contacts in terms of climate change issues at their respective operational areas.
Other objectives were; building a network of climate change champions and focal contacts through whom virtual and other forms of climate change training and capacity building can be channeled.
Facilitators were Dr. Kofi Buah (Founder and Director for the Centre for No-Till Agriculture), Mr. Kingsley Agyeman (Senior Agricultural Officer-Climate Change and Natural Resources Management Unit, MOFA), Mr. Ahmed Gilbril (Senior Agricultural Officer and Rep for FAO-Directorate of Crop Service), Mrs. Bernice Achiaa Frimpong (Ag. Scheme Manager, Ashanti region) and Dr. Edmund Kyei (Climate Change Adaptation Manager, GASIP).
They gave participants tutelage on how to avoid bad farm practices affecting climate change and best methods they need to adopt to enhance their profession and productivity.
Addressing the media, Dr. Edmund Kyei Akoto-Danso (Climate Change Adaptation Manager) brought to notice that the skills were offered so that participants will pass it on to other farmers in their various operational areas to address whatever challenge they are facing within the profession.
He underlined that same event will be replicated in Tamale and Bolga for farmers in the northern part of Ghana.
“In all the training, over 80 smallholder farmers and 70 value chain drivers are expected to be reached”, he indicated.
Last year 2019, GASIP as announced by Dr. Kyei worked with almost 60,000 farmers and is also collaborating with the District Department of Agriculture to solve issues affecting farming such as fire, flooding, late unset of rain, plus other climatic issues.
As part efforts aimed at fighting climatic challenges, GASIP last year supported 10 districts within the northern part of Ghana with 10 automatic weather stations at a total cost of $ 500,000 and will again top up with additional two this year.
Officials of GASIP as disclosed by the Manger have supplied 200 rain gauges and data recording sheets to value chain drivers to assist GMET in data collection exercise for the prediction of rainfall.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Klutse Kudomor, GASIP National Programme Coordinator disclosed that the programme has chucked significant successes under Dr. Edmund Kyei Akoto-Danso.
He announced that from a 25% disbursement in May2019 of the ASAP Grant for Climate related activities, about 70% has so far been disbursed in June 2020.
He said many training sessions for Agricultural agents have been carried out across the country with over 53 Commercial Business Partners and over 1000 FBO’s members. “This year the target to access funs is about 60,000”, he noted.
GASIP’s goal is to contribute to sustainable poverty reduction in rural areas of Ghana and its development objective is to enhance the profitability and climate change resilience of agribusinesses and smallholders.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) implements the programme. GASIP is a national programme for a period of six years implementable through two cycles of three years each.
The programme became effective in May 2015 and is scheduled for completion on 30 June 2021 and closure on 31 December 2021. A Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) located in Accra supported by four Zonal Coordination Offices (ZCOs) is responsible for overall implementing GASIP.
At design GASIP was expected to reach 86,400 farmers by the end of the second cycle, working through 4,000 FBOs organised under value chain clusters. An IFAD loan of US$ 36.6 million and an ASAP grant of US$ 10 million financed the first cycle of the programme.
GASIP approach: GASIP follows a value chain development approach. It assists in developing secured marketing linkages between FBOs and agribusinesses (referred to as value chain drivers).
The FBOs and the value chain drivers (VCD) sign agribusiness partnership agreements before the production season whereby the VCDs commit to purchase the crops produced by the FBOs based on quantity, quality and cost parameters agreed in the agribusiness agreements. GASIP supports the implementation of these agribusiness agreements by strengthening the FBOs, providing matching grants to support crop production activities and strengthening value chain infrastructure. GASIP also promotes the adoption of climate change resilient practices.
By Enock Akonnor; Editor-in-Chief