Ginger farmers and fishers in the Bono East region of Ghana have received a demonstration centre to enhance the ginger value chain and fish value chain in the area.
Ginger farmers benefit
Krabonso, a farming community in the Kintampo South District of the Bono East Region of Ghana, has benefited from a demonstration center to promote the ginger value chain — cultivating, processing, and packaging of ginger produced.
The community has over 95 percent of its residents as farmers, 80 percent of who cultivate ginger while only 15 percent cultivate other food crops such as yam, maize, cassava, and plantain among others.
Ginger is cultivated on large hectares of land as a cash crop and is considered a major source of income for the farmers in the area.
The Demonstration Centre is a four-year social protection project under the “Promoting Access of Indigenous People to Decent Work and Social Protection” (PRODESOP) project.
The project aims at leveraging the ginger and fish value chain in the Kintampo North and South districts and the Pru East and West districts respectively to provide employments for the vulnerable such as persons living with disabilities, women, and the youth within the Bono East Region.
At the commissioning ceremony of the demonstration center at Krabonso near Jema – the Kintampo South District capital -, Mr. Benjamin Amofa (Project Manager), noted that the project is expected to provide employment for beneficiaries through skills development, provision of basic infrastructure, inputs for commercial production, value addition processes and access market.
Mr Amofa mentioned that the project was co-funded by the European Union with counterparts funding from four implementing partners including the Center for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA), National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), Center of Prosperity Interest Organization (COPIO), and Abrono Organic Farming Project (ABOFAP).
He indicated that as part of efforts to provide raw materials for the project, about 200 acres of additional farmland has been acquired for ginger cultivation to augment what was already produced in the area by the farmers.
In addition, after the four-year support from donors, the project would continue to run under a private partnership with the District Assembly serving as a sole proprietor since the community members may not have the capacity to sustain it.
Mr Amofa hinted that in view of providing social protection for the community, the project has also supported about 2,400 households in various interventions.
It has signed on household members onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) pension schemes among others.
Similarly, Mr Isaac Owusu, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the project, noted that in Pru East and West Districts the project had contracted about 70 fish cages on the White Volta and procurement of tanks for beneficiaries in the districts.
He added that the project has also commenced the fingerlings production and cultivation of catfish and Tilapia in cages across the two districts.
Mr Owusu disclosed that the demonstration center for the fish value chain is housing an administration block, Nursery, fish hatchery, processing unit, and ancillary facilities, while the ginger value chain comprises of ginger washing facility, processing center, warehouse, holding room, conference facility, and other ancillary facilities.
He urged beneficiaries to cultivate the habit of self-owned the project and treat it as their own for it to last longer.
Mr Opoku Nyame, District Chief Executive for Kintampo South lauded the project and said if much care is given to the project it would go a long way to address the unemployment issues in the area.
Mr Nyame explained that the project forms part of government one district one factory policies which is geared at providing jobs for sustainable livelihood.
According to him, the 2022 budget has made provisions such as the “You-Start” to support the youth venture into entrepreneurship.
”However the facility would serve as grounds for the youth to benefit from the You-Start provision since they would be going into either ginger or fish farming”, he added.
The DCE urged the people especially the youth to welcome the new budget as it has lots of provisions that would turn around the economic fortunes of the country.