By Isaac Arkoh, GNA
Assin Darmang (C/R), Feb. 19, GNA – More than 90 gari processors are to be empowered by the Assin South District Assembly of the Central Region this year.
The move involves the initial training and equipping of four processors who will in turn train others on best practices and the most scientific and cost-effective methods of processing, packaging and marketing the produce.
Mr Jacob De-Graft Sackey, the District Director of Agriculture who made this known in an interview with the GNA said it was to enable the people in the predominantly cassava growing community to add value to their produce and reduce post-harvest losses.
Gari is creamy-white granular food with slightly fermented flavour made from gelatinized fresh cassava tubers that are washed, peeled, milled, de-starched and fried to produce the coarse-grained product.
Mr Sackey said his outfit had so far worked with the Business Advisory Centre (BAC) of the District Assembly to train hundreds of people from the communities in income generating activities such as mushroom production, bee keeping, animal rearing and gari processing to diversify their income portfolio to better their lots.
He gave the assurance that the BAC among other partners were ready to offer the farmers any technical advice to enable them improve upon their economic activities.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) would also through its 10 extension agents and eight Nation Builders Corps (NACO) staff conduct 3,456 farm visits in the district.
On animal rearing, he announced that his office will make four clinical interventions and provide other logistics for prophylactic and curative treatment for small ruminants and poultry.
In addition, more than 922 ruminants will be vaccinated while district anti-rabies campaign will be organised in 50 communities to intensify all year-round disease surveillance in small ruminants and poultry.
On crops production, about 26 staff will be trained on improved cereal production, establish 12 demonstration on maize to show effects of improved technologies while offering support to two plant Doctors in organizing training in 40 farming communities.
As part of conscious effort to improve on the health of farmers, 1,000 farmers would be sensitized on HIV/AIDs, malaria, TB as well as climate change issues for them to recognize the effects of climate change and work towards improving the situation in their communities.
The farmers are also being encouraged to adopt new and diversified agriculture practices that would increase production and boost incomes and also deal with extreme climate events through disaster risk reduction plans.
Mr. Sackey said Government will continue to create an enabling environment to attract private sector resources and expertise into the agriculture Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements to ensure sustainable private sector participation and investment in MoFA's flagship programmes.