Lawra — The Lawra Municipal and Nandom District Assemblies in the Upper West Region, have been earmarked for 500 metric ton capacity warehouses for agro-ecological produce.
The warehouses are being provided under the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development's (CIKOD) "Access to local markets", project.
The project, with financial support from the 11th Hour Project in the USA, seeks to promote marketing and consumption of agro-ecological produce, to advance agro-ecology and improve local economies in the region and Ghana at large.
The warehouses, which would be cited at Ko in the Nandom District and Pavuu in the Lawra Municipality, would have ancillary facilities such as drying platforms and processing centres for agro-ecology produce.
The Lawra Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Martin Bomba-Ire, who represented the Upper West Regional Minister at a ground breaking ceremony at Pavuu on Saturday, for the commencement of the project, commended CIKOD for taking the initiative to promote agro-ecology through the production and consumption of agro-ecological produce.
He asked farmers to adopt agro-ecological farming methods, such as the use of organic fertiliser to help conserve the natural essence of the environment.
Mr Bomba-Ire said "we need to encourage our people to use organic manure, but let me add that with the posture of CIKOD it does not necessarily mean that the provision of fertilisers to farmers is not good.
Mr Bomba-Ire said though the agricultural department in Lawra has compost it was not utilised and "we need to encourage the people to use these things alongside fertiliser".
He reiterated government's commitment to transforming the agricultural sector, to make it attractive to the youth, and lauded CIKOD and its partners for their contribution to agriculture.
The Director for CIKOD North, Mr Daniel Banuoku, said although the agricultural sector was lucrative, farmers remained poor due to their inability to get good market for their produce.
He said some farmers sold their produce immediately after harvesting partly due to the lack of storage facilities, hence the decision of CIKOD to provide the storage and processing facility and ready market for agro-ecological farmers, to make the sector attractive to the youth.
"We are all witnesses to the fact that our farmers are trapped in poverty just because they are unable to get realistic prices for the commodities that they produce," Mr Banuoku said.
The representatives of the 11th Hour Project, were hopeful that the project would yield the needed results of improving agro-ecological farmers' access to ready market.
"We are working in many countries in Africa, but what is being done here should not just be an example and a module for supporting farmers and agriculture in Ghana, it should also be a module that will be shared with other African countries," Director of Human Rights at 11th Hour Project, Madam Maria Koulouris, said.
Caption: Lawra MCE cutting sod for commencement of the project. Looking on are Human Rights at 11th Hour Project, chiefs and residents