General News of Sunday, 26 February 2017
Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana, YHFG, a Non-governmental Organization in the Upper East Region in collaboration with Christian Aid, Technoserve Ghana and GIZ has organized rice agribusiness engagement forum in Bolgatanga.
YHFG in partnership with Christian Aid, Technoserve Ghana and GIZ is implementing a project dubbed Growing Rice Market Opportunity for Women, GROW, in some selected districts in the Upper East region which includes Bolgatanga Municipality, Kassena-Nankana Municipality and the Bongo District.
The project aims at contributing to an improved livelihood of rice farmers and processors through their participation in an inclusive local rice market chain in the country.
The engagement forum brought together key stakeholders in the rice value chain to discuss quality standards, packaging and marketing of local rice as a way of promoting the activities of all the actors in the rice value chain in the Upper East Region and the country at large.
The partnership is also geared towards ensuring effective coordination and collaboration of actors within the rice value chain.
The executive Director of Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana, Dr John Kingsley Krugu, said the forum served as an opportunity for rice actors to exhibit, market and promote their rice products to open up business opportunities for the local rice sector.
According to him, the project seeks to empower women and if they want to empower women they have to focus on what the women are already doing and that is exactly what they are doing now.
He said his outfit has recognized that rice as a commodity its production processing involves women and that makes it relevant to empower women.
Dr Krugu said all the stakeholders brought together which includes Food and Drugs Authority, FDA, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, MOFA, Ghana Standards Authority among others was to discuss issues confronting players in the rice sector.
He added that government’s decision to empower the private sector is a move in the right direction and implored on the Minister of Food and Agriculture to support players in the rice sector.
In an interview with Radio Ghana’s Samuel Ayammah, the Agro-Enterprise Development Supervisor of Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana, Albert Akafari, said the project is being piloted in the Kassena Nankana Municipality, Bolgatanga Municipality and the Bongo District.
He said over two thousand players in the rice value chain are beneficiaries of the project.
A member of the Single Mothers Association who spoke on anonymity called on government to offer them the contract to supply the schools that are captured in the school feeding program.
Single mothers association who are located in Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga municipality are one of the best local rice processors in the region.
According to them, eating local rice maintains a healthy nervous system, prevents heart disease, lowers bad cholesterol, controls blood sugar levels among others.
The various rice par boilers groups in the Upper East Region has come out with a well packaged local rice call “Bolga Quality Local Rice”.