World Vision holds agriculture market linkages fair at Damongo

By Albert Futukpor, GNA 

Damongo (S/R), Sept. 15, GNA – An agriculture Market Linkages Fair has been held to bring actors in the agricultural value chain in the Savannah Region to a common platform to network, identify potential buyers, input dealers and other service providers to help improve their businesses. 

 Various agricultural value chain actors, including farmers, input dealers, aggregators, processors, tractor service providers and financial institutions in the region, and the Vision Fund exhibited their products at the fair, which was held at Damongo on Thursday. 

It was organised by World Vision Ghana as part of its Landscapes and Environmental Agility across the Nation (LEAN) project being implemented in the area with funding support from the European Union (EU). 

Mr Sergious Before, Acting Regional Operations Manager, Northern Operations, World Vision Ghana, who spoke during the fair, said it was to help promote inclusive and efficient food systems that better integrated smallholder farmers and small and medium agribusinesses into value chains. 

 That, Mr Before said this would generate greater structural transformation in families as they had better access to farm inputs (seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides), technology, and extension services, adding it would also improve their access to markets, generate decent employment, and make nutritious food available for children to improve their quality of life. 

The EU LEAN project seeks to directly contribute to the national efforts of conserving biodiversity, improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers, increasing climate change resilience and reducing emissions from land use changes in the savannah high forest and transition zones of the country. 

Officials interacting with participants during the fair 

Mr Joseph Edwin Yelkabong, Project Manager, EU LEAN Project, World Vision Ghana, said under the additional livelihood interventions of the project, farmers in the area had been profiled to be supported with bee hives and small ruminants whilst those who received artisanal trainings in smock weaving but were unable to establish themselves, would be supported with weaving looms and starter packs to diversify their livelihoods. 

He encouraged participants to take advantage of the fair to network with other value chain actors to improve their various agribusinesses. 

Mr Jimah Yakubu, Outgoing West Gonja Municipal Coordinating Director, said the fair was the first of its kind in the municipality and would help participants to maximise their activities. 

Mr Yakubu reiterated the commitment of the Department of Agriculture to supporting farmers through education on best agronomic practices to help increase productivity. 

Alhaji Mumuni Ibrahim, Director, West Gonja Municipal Director, Department of Agriculture, lauded the initiative and said it would help ensure speedy delivery of services to all value chain actors and reduce wastages. 

Participants lauded the initiative, saying it had exposed them to the various actors along the agricultural value chain to help strike deals to boost their operations. 

Mr Sumani Iddrisu, AGA Africa representative in the Savannah Region, who exhibited organic farming aid (organic fertlisers, which increase yield, repel insects and pests, and stop fungal attacks) at the fair, lauded the initiative and said it had helped farmers to know the quality inputs available to boost their productivity.