By Charles Chedar, GNA
Wa, March 14, GNA - Agriculture sector players in the Upper West Region have formed an ad hoc platform aimed at laying the foundation for agricultural value chain actors to have regular interactions and synchronize other interventions to reduce postharvest losses.
The platform, championed by the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC), is composed of decentralized units of the department of agriculture covering the Crop Service Division, Plant Protection Division, Women in Agriculture Division and Extension service as well as the media.
The GTLC launched in 2006 aims at promoting the livelihoods of small-scale farmers, producer groups and workers of agro-based concerns in the country, particularly across northern Ghana where postharvest losses in the agriculture value chair is more pronounced.
The coalition said this during an interaction with journalists in Wa after the formation of the platform.
He said the media remains a key partner in driving the agenda to reducing postharvest losses and ensuring food security in the Region.
Mr Emmanuel Wullingdool, the GTLC Policy Officer, said: “there are different interventions in postharvest losses going on in the region but it is our firm belief that with this platform all such interventions would be synchronized and addressed”.
“We are looking forward to see that the platform is active, strong and can be in the position to solve any issue of postharvest-loss in the region so that whatever is produced can be stored and protected for long period”, he added.
Mr Wullingdool said dealing with postharvest losses needed collective effort from all interested parties to launch an aggressive campaign and carry out public education for farmers to understand that postharvest losses starts from the farm.
The platform would focus on finding solutions to crops such as maize, groundnut, and cowpea among others that have great impact on gender and persons with disabilities.
Mr Huudu Abu, the Upper West Regional Crop Officer, said it was the core responsibility of the department of agriculture to disseminate and make agricultural technologies available to rural farmers, right from the production stage to storage.
He said along the production chain, numerous challenges interfere with the process and for that matter there is the need to create the platform to assist in the education of farmers in cutting down postharvest losses to enhance food security.
Representatives of the platform are expected in various communities to educate farmers on how to store, protect and safeguard farm products and bring challenges out for redress.
Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, the Coordinator of GTLC, said the platform would address issues of postharvest losses and build understanding of postharvest losses of various crops to ensure that quality farm products are preserved for the population.