Construction of storage facilities for agribusiness begins
Dr Alhassan Ahmed Yakubu
Tono (UE), April 13, GNA - A Deputy Minister of the Food and Agriculture Ministry, (MOFA) Dr Alhassan Yakubu Ahmed, has performed the sod cutting ceremony for the construction of nine warehouses and four pack houses.
The project, which is under the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP), and funded by the African Development Bank(AFDB), is expected to be fitted with modern cleaning and sorting equipment, utilities, meeting rooms and offices, among other facilities.
It would help to address post-harvest losses and stabilise the price of agricultural produce.
The beneficiary communities are Kukobilla , Sawla, Gushegu , Cheriponi in the Northern Region, Pwalugu, Tono, Garu, Weisi in the Upper East Region, Sombo, Eremon , Gwollu and Yagha in the Upper West Region and Badu in the Brong Ahafo Region which are all NRGP operational areas.
Performing the ceremony at Tono, near the Kassena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region, the Deputy Minister said the warehouses were meant for the storage of cereals and legumes whilst the pack houses were meant for the processing of fresh fruits.
He said apart from the facilities creating employment for the youth, the agricultural produce would also be exported to generate foreign exchange for the country.
'Many vegetable exporters and local marketers require the availability of pack houses in order to enable them to do business,' Dr Ahmed stated. 'Warehouses will enable farmers aggregate their produce, ensure quality standards and advocate for good prices from secure markets'.
The Deputy Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Mion Constituency, in the Northern Region, said the warehouses and pack houses were very critical to the MOFA sector as it had adopted the value chain approach to promoting agri-business.
Whilst entreating the farmers to produce varieties and quality standard vegetables and fruits that would meet international standards, the Deputy Minister urged the NRGP to assist the farmers scout out for vegetable marketers because fruits and vegetables were perishable.
He lauded the efforts of the AFDB, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other investors for co-funding some of the projects under the NRGP.
He, therefore, advised the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) and the Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMDAs) in the project areas to conduct effective monitoring and supervision to ensure that the projects were executed to quality standards.
The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Daniel Syme, gave the assurance that the various RCCs and the MMDAs would undertake effective supervision and monitoring to ensure that there was value for money.
Mr Fataau Mohammed Maiga, the Director of the F.M Maiga Company Limited, who is constructing the Tono facility, gave the assurance that the project would be completed on time and also be of quality standard.