By Sambiru Duut Elijah, GNA
Kiape (S/R), July 16, GNA – Over a thousand farmers have so far benefited from a 'trainer of trainees' programme under the Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) project being implemented in the Northern, Savannah and Upper West Regions of Ghana.
The project, which was piloted in 32 communities across the beneficiary regions by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, is expected to leverage the technical know-how of Women in Agriculture for them to increase production and consumption of local food crops, including OFSP, which are known for their nutritious values.
Mr. William Boakye-Acheampong, the Northern Region Director of Agriculture, who disclosed this while addressing the chiefs and people of Kiape in the Bole District, noted that, a total of 120,400 vines were distributed to farmers in 2018.
He said the inauguration of OFSP Nurseries dubbed "Promoting local cultivation, processing and consumption of Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato for improved nutrition among the vulnerable in Northern, Savanna and Upper West Regions" was necessary in the fight against malnutrition in the area.
Mr. Boakye-Acheampong said Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD) in Northern Region seeks to join forces with the World Food Programme to address the persistent problems of stunting among children, micronutrients deficiencies in young girls of reproductive age, pregnant women and lactating mothers among others in Northern Ghana
"The trainer of trainees' sessions were organised to enlighten all the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) staff and women farmer groups involved in managing the four nursery sites in the production of OFSP roots for value addition", he explained.
Mr. Boakye-Acheampong indicated that, as part of the dissemination of quality OFSP planting materials that would withstand drought in Northern part of the country, Crop Intensification Programme (CIP) was partnering the project to present research-based methodologies to farmers and Agriculture Extension Agents.
Madam Alele Veronica Heming, the Bole District Chief Executive (DCE) called on farmers to patronise the cultivation of OFSP in their farms and backyards to ensure all year-round farming to enable them to feed their families as well as increase their income.
She said the nursery garden demonstration site at Kiape would be a training center for farmers and women groups on the production and management of OFSP as well as the distribution of vines or seed-tubers for communities for their farms.
She charged citizens of Bole and the entire Savannah Region to give peace a chance since no investor would come to the region if the indigenes engage in conflicts.