The Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) yesterday held a summit on Strengthening Farmer's Organisations in African with Ghana as its focus in Accra.
A Professor at the College of Agriculture at the University of Ghana, Legon, Kwame Offei, disclosed that Agriculture employed 65% of African's labour force and accounted for 32% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and was essential in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015.
Prof. Offei said Agriculture in Ghana was predominantly undertaken by small holders who produced crops through the usage of traditional methods and low resource technologies.
Meanwhile it is estimated that only 18% of the farm holdings were more than 4.0 hectares per farmer which according to him confirmed the relevance of small holders and hence the crucial role Farmer Organisation play in the agricultural system.
Touching on farm-based Organisations in Ghana, Professor Offei said it ranged from informal village-level groups to organised groups and that Ghana currently had four apex bodies, namely the Ghana National Association of farmers and Fishermen and Fishermen (GNAFF) and the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG).
The rest are the Farmer's Organisation Network (FONG) and the Apex Farmer's Organisations of Ghana responsible for smallholder farmers and fishermen group in Ghana.
These organisations, he said, had been joined together to form the Ghana Federation of Agricultural Produces(GFAP) which currently represented Ghanaian farmers on the peasant organisations and producers in West African.
He said the main objectives of GFAP, were to establish the process for strong lobbying and advocacy for the establishment of an Agricultural Development Fund by government that would support the value chain agriculture products in Ghana; provide a collective forum for members to exchange information and share ideas, issues and constraints relevant to the development of their own food business.
Source: ISD (SOLOMON K.W TETTEH)