Cape Coast Nov.7, GNA- The Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund has made available GH¢65,996.70 to the Central Region Lime Growers and Marketers Association (LGMA) for advocacy and training programmes.
Mr Ato Van-Ess a trainer with BUSAC who announced this in Cape Coast on Tuesday said out of the amount LGMA contributed GH¢ 5,999.70 as commitment fee towards the programme which would last for nine months.
Mr Van-Ess was speaking at a sensitisation workshop on “Advocacy for the Immediate Intervention by Government to Prevent the Extinction of Lime in Ghana”.
The workshop attended by more than 70 lime growers is sponsored by the BUSAC Fund and is geared towards the creation of awareness on the importance of citrus and lime industry to the economy.
It is also highlighted the plight of lime farmers, stimulate stakeholder interest in the citrus and lime sub sectors as well as push for a policy framework for the establishment of a citrus board.
Mr Van-Ess said the fund would continue to give citrus and lime farmers the requisite advocacy training to enable them address gaps in accessing citrus markets.
He called for the establishment of a processing plant, upgrading of farming practices and the need for farmers to deal directly with final users of the produce in order to eliminate middle men and market queens who exploit them.
Mr Paul Ainoo, Chairman of the Cape Coast LGMA appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to put in place a policy framework for the establishment of an institution which would be responsible for the development and promotion and sale of lime to stem the extinction of the industry.
He said due to the lack of a vibrant market and a body to manage the sector most lime growers have either cut down their trees or have deserted farming for other means of livelihood.
Mr Ainoo said currently it is only Pinora a lime buying company that purchase the huge tonnes of lime produce in the region expressed worry that that most lime growers could be out of business.
He appealed to the government and stakeholders in the industry for the creation of a Board to streamline all citrus farming activities.
Mr Ainoo said the proposed board could improve upon the negotiation power of the lime and citrus farmers and have positive impact on the living standards
Mr Samuel Abraham, Cape Coast Metropolitan Director of Food and Agriculture said the next farmer’s day celebration in the area would include an award for the best lime grower.