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19.03.2006 Regional News

Farmer-based organisations to be trained in ICT

By GNA

Nyankpala (N/R), March 19, GNA - Farmer-based organisations (FBOs) in the country are to benefit from a series of workshops to educate them on the use of cellular phones to access market information. The Apex Farmers' Organisation of Ghana (APFOG), which lobbies for favourable agricultural policies for its members, is initiating the programme.

Briefing the GNA in an interview at Nyankpala on Sunday, the National Secretary of the organisation, Osofo Patrick A. Apullah said, the APFOG was focused on providing training to farmers on how they could access the prices of selected commodities from six West African countries on their mobile phones. He said with the training, farmers would be able to type a commodity and country code to a dedicated number and through the Internet they would be able to access the prices of the commodity. The motive behind the training is to give the farmers a fair idea of how they could utilise simple tools to access price information and thereby make an informed decision on where to sell their products, at what price and to whom.

Osofo Apullah said farmers would be introduced to the Network of Regional Market Information Systems and Traders' Organisations in West Africa (MISTOWA), which has a rich resource of information on traders, transporters, contacts, offers, among others. MISTOWA would provide timely and accurate market information to producers and traders, build their advocacy and business skills to respond to production and business opportunities and thereby increase intra-regional trade in agricultural products and inputs.

Osofo Apullah said the MISTOWA was a regional project funded by the USAID- West Africa Regional Project (WARP) and administered by the International Centre for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development (IFDC). He called on FBOs in the country to take interest in the workshops to enhance their economic well-being and that of their families.

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