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Form Associations for better market access – APN Group Executive Director urges small-scale farmers

By Beyonce Diamond Kpogli II Contributor
Agriculture Mr. Louis Yaw Afful
MAR 21, 2024 LISTEN
Mr. Louis Yaw Afful

Mr. Louis Yaw Afful, the executive director of APN Group, emphasized the importance of small-scale farmers forming associations to access larger and more readily available markets for their products.

He highlighted that this move would facilitate their recognition and participation in programs such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

According to Afful, these associations would provide farmers with bargaining power and enable them to collaborate closely with institutions like the Ghana Commodity Exchange. Additionally, Afful recommended that financial institutions support these associations to enhance their operations. He also suggested that government support could be more effectively channelled at the group level once these associations are formed.

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Mr. Afful made these remarks during a panel discussion at the ongoing 3-day Agritech West Africa Exhibition 2024 in Accra. He further emphasized the need for the government to review the implementation plan of the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative to address challenges faced by smallholder farmers.

Calls for Review of 1D1F Initiative to Address Challenges

Afful stressed that the implementation plan of the 1D1F initiative should be revised to tackle issues such as the lack of storage facilities across the country, which leads to the wastage of agricultural products.

Mr. Yaw Adu Poku, Chairman of the Competitive African Rice Platform, Ghana Chapter, echoed Afful's sentiments, emphasizing the urgent need for storage facilities to enable farmers to preserve their excess produce after harvest. He highlighted that the absence of adequate storage facilities results in simultaneous harvesting by all farmers, leading to spoilage of crops within a short period.

Mr. Yaw Adu PokuMr. Yaw Adu Poku

Poku emphasized that this challenge has persisted for decades without a viable solution. He called for government policies to be made accessible to every farmer, enabling them to leverage support for their agricultural activities.

Addressing Food Insecurity and Inflation

Mr. Yaw Adu Poku noted that approximately 40-60% of crop products in Ghana go waste due to the absence of proper storage mechanisms. Given Ghana's seasonal agricultural cycle, where crops are predominantly grown during the rainy season, the lack of storage exacerbates food insecurity and inflation.

He stressed that with the implementation of robust storage mechanisms, Ghana could significantly reduce food insecurity and inflation, thereby enhancing agricultural sustainability and economic stability.

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