SNV Country Director calls on Upper West Regional PHL platform
By Radio Mak || Philip Tengzu
The new Country Director of the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) to Ghana, Mr Anjo Van Toorn, on Tuesday, called on the Upper West Regional Post Harvest Loss management platform in Wa to interact with the platform to ascertain its scope of operation.
His visit was also to know some of the challenges of the platform, its priority areas and to chart effective ways the SNV can collaborate with the platform to work in those areas.
The multi-stakeholder PHL management platform was formed by the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) under the SNV Voice for Change (V4C) partnership to coordinate the efforts of actors in the agricultural sector on a common platform against PHL.
It comprised representatives of eleven organisations including the media, governmental and non-governmental organisations, Civil Society Organisations, the private sector and research institutions among others.
He commended the GTLC for spearheading the establishment of the platform aimed at addressing the issue of post harvest losses affecting farmers in the region.
Mr Toorn pledged his support for the platform to enable it to achieve its targets and said the success of the platform will translate to the betterment of farmers in the region as post harvest loss will be minimised.
Mr Ubald Sabogu, Vice Chairman of the Platform said post harvest loss is a major setback affecting farmers in the region and that the platform has lined up series of activities to sensitise farmers to effective management of the issue.
He said the platform, as part of its advocacy strategies, will introduce farmers to some available technologies which they can use to manage the canker.
He however said the platform needs a permanent office space from where its activities will be coordinated to enable it to function effectively to meet its set targets including reducing PHL in the region.
Mr Sabogu noted that the platform is bedevilled with financial constraints and appealed to benevolent organisations, including the SNV to support the platform with funding to enable it to effectively implement its activities.
On his part, the Upper West Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr Emmanuel Sasu Yeboah emphasised the need for support for agric researcher institutions such as the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) to enable them to produce enough foundation seeds, particularly groundnut seeds, for the seed producers to produce enough certified seeds for farmers.
“When we want foundation seeds for farmers to produce certified seeds we don’t get but we rather import seeds from Nigeria. Last year for instance because of border issues by the time they got here the planting season was over.
We should support the researchers to be able to produce more foundation seeds. This year for instance, more farmers wanted to go into groundnut seeds production, but where is the foundation seed”, Mr Yeboah added.
The Agric Director wondered why majority of the people in the region are farmers yet the region is described as the poorest in the country and encouraged farmers to venture into vegetable production, particularly in the dry season.
He explained that vegetables are high value crops and that farmers should be trained to harness the available water resources to cultivate vegetable crops in the dry season.
“We sit here and Burkinabes bring tomatoes, green pepper when we have similar resources, and we are even better sometimes than them”, he said, and called for support for the farmers to mange post harvest losses of the vegetables.