18 Warehouses completed under agric programme to improve food security

Eighteen warehouses partly financed by the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Programme (GCAP) to improve food security in the country have been completed.

While some are already in use, others are receiving finishing touches and will be ready for use during this year’s farming season.

Sixteen of the storage facilities are located in the three regions of the north with the two others in the south.
apacity and cost
One of the new completed warehouses at the Kukobilla Nasia farms in the Savelugu-Nanton District of the Northern Region
The facilities, with the capacity to hold in total 16,220 tonnes of grains and cereals, are part of efforts to improve food security and reduce post-harvest losses.

The warehouses, which in total cost $1,387,350 and have capacities ranging from 120 to 5,000 tonnes, are located at Shai Osudoku, North Tongu, Builsa North, Tolon, Bawku West, Sisala East, Yendi, Savelugu Nanton, Kasena-Nankana and Chereponi districts, Bawku West and Bolgatanga municipalities and the Tamale Metropolis. 
 
The construction of the warehouses comes at a time the government plans to build warehouses in all 216 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to provide storage capacity for the tonnes of food expected from the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme.

GCAP is a Ministry of Agriculture project jointly funded by the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop agriculture in Ghana in line with the country’s efforts at poverty reduction and ensuring food security by promoting inclusive commercial farming along selected commodity value chains.

According to figures from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, although the country currently produces more than 1.3 million tonnes of maize, it only has the capacity to store about 80,000 tonnes.

Farmers are sometimes compelled to leave their produce on the farm when their barns become full, leading to post-harvest losses.

During a recent tour of some of the project sites in the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) Zone by officials of GCAP, it was realised that some of the warehouses had begun storing produce; and their owners described the GCAP support as timely.

 Useful

At Sambologa in the Bawku West District in the Upper East Region, bags of maize lined up in a warehouse that belongs to Ariku Farms.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ariku Farms, Mr Martin Akudugu Ariku, was among the 31 first call grantees who received GCAP support for projects and activities, including quality land development, irrigation systems, water management systems, warehouses, mills, pack houses, feeder roads, electricity/power connections and capacity building of smallholder/outgrower farmers working with the applying nucleus farmers.

 Mr Ariku, whose company supports almost 1,000 outgrowers, told the Daily Graphic that the GCAP support “has been very useful. I used to have a small warehouse about 80 metric tonnes but with the help of GCAP, I have been able to put up about 600 metric tonnes warehouse.”

“Initially, it was supposed to be 400 metric tonnes but we have been able to turn it into 600 metric tonnes capacity. The outgrowers bring their produce here for storage so that during the lean season like now, they can sell it for better price,” he stated.

The warehouse also stores bags of certified seeds that are sold to farmers.

The grants were awarded to the beneficiaries to help them spur the growth of their agribusinesses by addressing their self-identified crippling constraints.

Mr Ariku’s counterpart in the Tamale Metropolis, Mr Danumin Subiniman, whose project, a 5,000 tonnes capacity warehouse, is near completion, also commended GCAP for the support which contributed to financing the project. 

He, however, said a lot of public education needed to be done to ensure that farmers in the northern part of the country who were used to keeping their produce at home saw the facilities as necessary for cutting down their post-harvest losses.

The project’s model is to promote and facilitate the transfer of modern farming practices, knowledge and technology from nucleus agribusinesses to their smallholder outgrowers.

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