Sunday, 26 October 2014

District Education Observer Project (DEOP) - A Rite 90.1 Fm iinitiative Its frightening to hear leaders in the 21st century advocating for students to be whipped. Amazingly many people seem to support this. Rite 90.1Fm is championing the use of radio for development and this is one of our many development projects that is having an impact in our community. This one was a STAR Ghana sponsored project. Owuraku Asamoah is the host of our morning show a program that mostly looks at how we can discuss topical issues in the Agricultural sector. Issues that affect development in our communities. We stream live on or TuneIn radio

Prioritize agriculture, financial institutions told 1/2 Business News of Friday, 24 October 2014 Source: GNA Reading the article in the link above I got the sense that in Ghana our Financial institutions will not, cannot, should not be made to invest in the AGRICULTURE SECTOR UNLESS GOVT or some INDEPENDENT BODY GIVES THEM SOME MONEY(NOT THEIR OWN) TO LOAN OUT TO FARMERS. Why will they ever risk their investments in Agriculture? Listen to what my interaction over the years with some Banks(safer not to mention their names) say..Agriculture is too risk as it is too dependent on rainfall and therefore too much uncertainty and now there is also the looming danger of CLIMATE CHANGE that is affecting everything in farming, others say.... farmers do not pay back their loans, others say why give it to farmers when traders can turn around the money in a relatively short time etc...and most of these reasons are truths. But there are so many more reasons why the banks will not bother with agriculture when its easy to just buy treasury bills or loan it to commercial traders. and make much more in their annual turnover The question I often ask then is.... which Bank in Ghana will give any money as start-ups to young people who have no collateral( not even farm lands will be accepted), who will readily take a chance on a farmer who possible is an illiterate, has no Technical know-how or knows nothing about new and modern technology on how farming is being done in the more developed countries. The answer is simple and clear...No One and No Bank!. The banks will only begin to talk to you when they see your fat bank account and usually it is those who are exporting produce or the Agro processing industries who add value to the produce they buy from the farmer or a foreign company that has brought in its own capital and successful managed to make its agro bussiness prosperous . The farmer who is the primary producer usually bears the most risk and he is the one that needs more support but they are the ones who are usually being ignored and being left to fend for themselves. Naturally the older farmers are the ones fading out or slowly dying off. There is going to be a generation gap and in the near future the risk of food insecurity if the Govt does not begin to show real steps in managing the agriculture sector in the country. I also often ask myself...Do we have a ministry that is actually working to improve the work of the farmer and also ensure that what they do is sustainable....Do the work with the farmer at heart or are they just more interested in their workshops and per diems? I have been working in this sector for a while now and I am as lost now as I was 10years ago. Wyy will I then encourage the people ( mostly the younger ones) who keep asking me and showing the interest in participating in the seemingly booming sector because of all the BIG TALK and empty promises when I cannot boast of any profits myself? Having mere passion is not ENOUGH!!!!MERE statements being made by those in power and policy makers is not enough!!! GHAna is at the cross roads and I am not afraid to say it.....Yes!!!!!.... Agriculture and farming for that matter is at High Risk!!! and is failing But just take a minute and ask yourself so who are the people who do it and where do you get the food you eat everyday from? How long can we as a country, ignore the unprofessional and amateurish way Agric is being done in the country. I just do not get it. ADB the bank mandated to help farmers in my opinion should have been sold long ago because it is irrelevant in its own mandated agenda. WHen you speak to some of them they will tell you it is not their fault as the Govt expects to be paid dividends at the end of the month, Their own people will tell you ..we cannot give out loans to farmers at rates any lower than other banks as we must make a profit. so they end up giving more loans to traders and commercial people than the farmers who need the money to help them improve, expand or grow their businesses. My farming business has saved with ADB for the past 10years and I don't have a relationship officer, I have never been approached if I want a loan, they have never even asked me how my business is doing. But I bet if I was exporting and had a fat account they would have paid attention to me and this validates the very point i made earlier on. The banks are simply not interested in nurturing you to grow unless they see you are already making it The Govt or politician is not interested in really solving the problems of farmers or truly help them develop..they are only interested in the politics of the game...when we came into power we did a,b,c whether it worked or failed they introduced something and spent so much.( meanwhile whatever they spend ends up in their own pockets). ARe we for REAL!!! DO they see how it is being done in other countries and the massive investments being poured into the sector? To me, the Development partners are no better...they send in their own people and they come here to do so many projects that die off without any real success.... A typical case is all the investments that have been made and continue to be made up in Northern Ghana. What do we have to show for it? I am sick of it!!! Its about time they become bold to stop giving money to ruling Govts who clain they have their own agenda for the Agric sector. Everyone keeps talking about the fact that Ghana needs an Agric Revolution to change our fortunes..I say we need a revolutionary, visionary who can be bold enough to invest properly in the sector and stop all this nonsense of trying to start all sort of schemes in farming for the rural poor that do not work. Ghana does not have to re-invent the wheel. It Is been done in many parts of Africa in countries like Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana etc. Our so called leaders must stop wasting our money and our time and get their hands dirty and stop sitting in Accra with all the talk shops. They must give money to some of the banks who have already dared use their own capital and venture into supporting Agriculture. They must give money to some of our National best farmers and help them expand what has already made them achievers. Today many of our farming lands are being destroyed or giving way to real estate developers and gold miners (Galamsey etc.) and we look on. some of our same leaders are the very people giving away the concessions because they get their cut. SHAME ON YOU!!!! A farmer stels a goat and he serves in prison. The same thief called a politician is made to go home with his spoils and nothing happens. THIEFS...if you ask me most our leaders are plain thiefs, they keep stealing our money because nothing will ever happen to them. FIRE BURN YOU ALL!!!!! Prioritize agriculture, financial institutions told Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri II, Omanhene of Sunyani Traditional Council on Wednesday advised financial institutions to prioritize agriculture to help improve food production. This, he explained could be achieved if financial institutions designed excellent banking packages that would benefit the rural poor to go into commercial farming. Nana Nkrawiri II gave the advice at the official launch of the universal status of the GN Bank (formerly First National Bank) in Sunyani. The Bank of Ghana (BOG) has granted the GN Bank a universal license, to operate banking services across the length and breadth of the country and outside as well. Nana Nkrawiri II noted that the country’s economy thrived on agriculture, and if financial institutions placed premium on that sector, it would not only reduce poverty, but enhanced national food security. He said the influx of banking institutions in Sunyani and parts of the Brong-Ahafo Region, was a good sign of development, but added that the industry would progress if it provided excellent customer services. Though the BOG has granted it a universal license, the GN Bank would continue to be a national bank for the ordinary person, providing close-to-client banking service to customers, Mr Charles Nimako, Director of the Bank said. He expressed appreciation about the supervisory role of the BOG and assured customers that the bank would continue to operate within the guidelines of the central bank to protect the interest of customers. Mr Nimako said the GN Bank was fully owned and managed by Ghanaians and would soon open up ownership for interested Ghanaian investors and customers. Mr Henry Lamptey, General Manager, Corporate Banking of the GN Bank, emphasized that the bank had not been sold except that it had changed its name. 0/26/2014 Prioritize agriculture, financial institutions told | Business News 2014-10-24 2/2 Sponsored Links by Taboola He assured customers of highest standard of integrity, loyalty and absolute honesty by aiming to become the “best big bank” by the end of 2015. “In line with corporate mission we do not intend to metamorphose into a high street bank but to remain the people bank,” Mr Lamptey said.

Friday, 24 October 2014

The wrong notion that Ghanaian farmers are the most deprived in the society. After reading this GNA story captured below one is tempted to have a real go at the assertion by this farmer.I really do not get it when people make such general sweeping statements about agriculture just to score points. Why should anyone stop a peasant farmer from describing themselves as deprived in the society when the farmers themselves are saying they are. What has changed? Yes! some farmers are doing very well, some have become successful but there are many out there who are not doing very well. Yes!... It well might be that the assertion My Ayittey makes, is one of the reasons why the youth do not want to go into farming but I disagree that it is one of the major reasons that has stopped the youth from investing in Agriculture. How many people atre involved in plantation farming in GHana? how many nucleus farms exist that have out grower schemes to help these peasant farmers? Is there any Agri-financing in this country. He should come again and explain how a young person wanting to do Agric can start a farm without any funds, No land and no technical support? Where are the extension officers in this country? Please some of these sweeping statements being banded around are even more damaging. When those who have toiled to even start farm manage to produce under very difficult circumstances, are there any good roads to bring them to the markets? In these rural areas where they live are there any social amenities worth boasting about. Its about time real investments are made in the Agric sector and this is the missing link. The lack of opportunity for young people to even get farmlands, good improved seeds, farm insurance, the technical know-how and support etc. these are the issues we need to be looking at. He is a farmer and perhaps he needs talk to the younger generation as to why they don't want to get into farming. It is just not the notion that farmers are poor because its the same for others in other sectors. It is how we have managed the transition of our ageing farmers to the younger ones and how the sector has been developed over the years. Today in most second cycle institutions the students do not have any time to even do any real School farming and even those who do it as a course barely do any real practicals. Having said this I am not discounting some of the pertinent issues he has raised but the prescription he is selling does not unravel the poor performance and the lack of interest by the youth in this agric sector. A GNA story The 2013 Upper Manya Krobo District Best farmer , Mr Moses Kumah Ayittey, has called for an end to the wrong notion that farmers are the most deprived in the society. He said the wrong notion is one of the major reasons that make the youth to refuse to invest in agriculture and trooped to the commercial towns chasing none existing jobs. Mr Ayittey said there was evidence that when farming was properly managed and the appropriate procedure and technology applied , the returns to the investor could be as high as the returns to the best investments in the economy. He was speaking at the 4H-Ghana Upper Manya Krobo District maiden Project Exhibition at Asesewa. Mr Ayittey appealed to teachers to stop using weeding as a punishment to students because it made them to regard farming as a continuation of their punishment in school. Mr Emmanuel Sena of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture(MOFA) called on the District Assembly, traditional authorities and captains of industry in the district to support the 4H concept to be extended to many schools in the district. Mr Kweku Boateng, the Chief Executive Officer of 4H-Ghana, said soon the world population would reach 7 billion and food would be needed to feed the population. He said 4H-Ghana was teaching the youth through their school gardening how to adopt high yielding seeds and the use of best agricultural practices that would enable them to increase their yield and incomes in future as farmers. Mr Boateng said the introduction of the Dupon Pioneer seeds and the new planting protocol to the 4H-Ghana Clubs in the district helped farmers in the district to increase their maize yield from six mini bags per acre to 20 mini bags. He called on the District Assembly and parents to support the 4H-Ghana sustainable school feeding programme introduced to two basic schools for it to be extended to many schools in the district. Mr Trent Mcnight, Chief Executive Officer of Agricorps, a non-governmental organization based in the United States which has been supporting 4H-Ghana with US agricultural graduates to help implement their agricultural programmes, said if the youth are taught how to run agriculture as a business, they would grow to feed Ghana and the world. Mr Mcnight, a businessman and a wheat farmer, said as a young 4H member in the US, he started farming with five cows and now has 3,000 cows in Texas.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Nigeria's past just sounds like Ghana's now but I bet with the sort of plans they have put in place reading from this story, they will overtake Ghana in cocoa production in no time. Perhaps we can draw a lot of parallels from this story and Ghana's handling of the Cocoa industry. The ivory coast after its war has increased its cocoa production to almost double what Ghana is producing today. My question is, are we not over concentrating too much on our oil and neglecting our Agriculture especially the Cocoa industry? what is the cocoa board doing to encourage increase in production, adding value and protecting our borders from smuggling etc. just saying...much more needs to be done

Do Ghanaian farmers have pension?

Is there an Agric pension plan or fund for Ghanaian farmers? I am only asking maybe there is and I stand to be corrected but I ask this because it appears it is mandatory for all employers & workers to pay some sort of pension whether you like it or not. Why has nothing been put in place for farmers? Perhaps the exception is Cocoa farmers....the question is..... are they the only ones playing a role in Agriculture in Ghana? I wish we could put this question forward to the policy makers?

Pineapple Production in Ghana

Useful and interesting points in this story in the link that comparisons and deductions can be made to pineapple production in Ghana. Question though..... Is the pineapple industry in Ghana still vibrant? Has the overly production of MD2 killed the industry? I am just asking....these are the kind of questions that the Rite Fm news team might want to direct to farmer based organizations such as SPEG, PRINPAG etc.

Entrepreneur in the Agricultural industry from Ghana. Developed and internet-based directory for th