Friday, 13 July 2012 09:02
Members of the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Agriculture have called on beneficiary communities and farmers who received support from government and its development partners to be serious with their projects to ensure their sustainability.
The Parliamentarians gave the advice when they visited the “Biakoye” Gari Processing Group at Otaipro in the Birim Central Municipality yesterday as part of their monitoring and supervisory roles.
It is one of the Good Practice Centres (GPC) under the Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme (RTIMP) being funded by the Government of Ghana and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The group had earlier visited the “Milenovise” group at Korkormu in the Akuapem North Municipality and another group at Adeiso in the Upper West Akim District where the Parliamentarians expressed satisfaction and congratulated those involved.
Speaking at Otaipro, Mr Samuel Ayeh Pee, a Member of the Committee, asked the group to pay their dues to help expand the project.
He said it was only when they were seen to be doing those things that would encourage people to show interest in their work and support them.
Mr Ayeh-Pee was reacting to the request by the “Biakoye” Group that they should be supported to put up a fence around their project, provided with extra 10 stainless steel gari roasters and a store.
The request came after seven years of support by RTIMP project with four stainless steel gari roasters, a shed, a stainless steel self feeding grata, and a squeezer.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee, Dr Yakubo Alhassan, called for efforts to connect such projects to other ones in the districts so that roads leading to the project sites could be improved and also be connected to the national grid to enable the projects have access to electricity.
Briefing the group earlier, Mr Samuel K Nyamekye, a Coordinator of the Project, said under the project, an individual or group of gari processors are identified and supported with high productive machines and hygienic environment and given training in production, packaging and marketing.
He said the processing center is then linked up with farmers in the community who have been supplied with new high yielding cassava varieties so that the processing centers would be assured of constant supply of quality raw materials.
Due to the hygienic environment under which the gari is produced and the quality, the market of the producers expand and so could promptly pay for the purchase of the cassava from the farmers and also the increase in demand for the product, makes them employ idle hands in the community to support the gari production.
Mr Nyamekye said the new varieties of cassava given to the farmers increased their productivity from six tons per acre to 30 tons per acre and the chain helped to increase the incomes of the people in the chain and the community at large.
This is because the increase in income in the gari supply chain turns to affect other areas of the rural economy like transportation, food sales and also sale of other house hold items in the community.