The Ecumenical Association for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (ECASARD), in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and Minority Oriented Agricultural Programme (MOFA/MOAP), GTZ and ADRA have organised a day's sensitisation workshop for mango farmers within Techiman municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region.
It was to find ways and means to make mango production attractive and lucrative.
Mr John Manu, Techiman Municipal Director of Agriculture addressing the participants said it was necessary to prompt mango farmers within the municipality to form a co-operative union to have accurate data on their strength, acreage under cultivation and the appropriate varieties of mangoes to be cultivated.
He told the 117 participants that the Ministry would continue to facilitate their operations to ensure that recommended varieties of mangoes were cultivated and in addition introduced to good agronomic practices.
Dr Peter Filius, Coordinator of ECASARD assured the farmers of the organisation's continued assistance through workshops and field trips and urged them to reciprocate the gesture by utilising what they learnt at the workshop.
Mr Adjei Boahen, Field Extension Officer of ADRA at Techiman asked the farmers to undertake mango production as a viable economic venture because the crop had longer life span than most perennial crops.
He called for the establishment of mango farmers' societies in the rural communities to work with the other institutions to improve the living standards of rural dwellers.
Mr David Yaw Owusu, Programme Officer in charge of IPM/Organic Agriculture of ECASARD, asked the farmers to sustain the union to make it vibrant. Mr. Samuel Ayobi, Techiman Municipal Development Officer in charge of Crops, said mango had a wider market both locally and on the international market and urged the farmers to intensify its production to earn more income.
He asked the farmers to take advantage of the knowledge acquired at the workshop to encourage other farmers to increase their acreage.
Miss Christiana Owusuaa, Co-ordinator of GTZ/MOAP, said the institution was working out a concept "the value chain team" to steer affairs of identified farmers in mango production. She said GTZ and MOAP had planned to organise workshop for stakeholders in mango production in Brong Ahafo region to create linkages among farmers to boost their operations.
Mr James Okyere, Techiman Municipal Co-operative Officer, said the farmers could effectively enhance their operations through co-operative associations and societies. "Coming together as a union will afford you the opportunity to access credit facilities from financial institutions to expand your businesses," he added.
Miss Esther Boakye-Yiadom, Brong-Ahafo Regional Chairperson of ECASARD, noted with satisfaction that stakeholders in mango production had come together to share ideas to boost production of mango within the municipality.
Nana Owusu Gyare II, Akwamuhene of Techiman Traditional Area, called for cooperation among the farmers to make mango production attractive within the municipality.
A nine-member interim committee was formed to organise activities of members. They were, Mr Samuel Ayoba of MOFA, Nana Owusu Gyare II, Mr Adjei Boahen of ADRA, Mr Charles Ampofo of ECASARD, Ahmed Ali Dauda of Sunyani and Mr. Joseph Owusu Yeboah of Wenchi.
The rest were, Mr Yaw Anane of Kumasi, Nana Kwao Adams Twafohene of Forikrom, and Nana Daniel Kwadwo Tawiah, 2006 Municipal best farmer.