GOVERNMENT AND KOICA LAUNCHES CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OF FBCs AND FBOs IN NORTHERN GHANA.
The Government of Ghana and the Korean Government have jointly organized the launch of capacity development project of Farmer Based Cooperatives (FBCs) and Farmer Based Organization (FBOs) at Tamale in the Northern region.
The $6.81 million dollar project being funded by the Korean Government is under the Korea International Agency (KOICA).
The event dubbed “Cooperatives, Driving Change in Northern Ghana “aims to improve the quality of life for the rural residents and also to enhance rural cooperatives in the 3 Northern regions.
Speaking at the Launch, the Korea Ambassador to Ghana, H. E Sungson Kim said cooperatives play a key role in the enhancement of the livelihood of farmers and that the Korean Government was willing to assist develop effective cooperatives in the three Northern regions. The project, he added is expected to last for 3 years and seeks to enhance food production and improve the income and livelihood of Rural Farmers.
On his part, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, in his keynote address said the urgency to create jobs particularly for the rural areas has become paramount considering the fact that rural urban migration is astronomically on the rise. He cited, an example that unemployment among the youth has almost become a national security issue hence government effort to address the phenomena.
He further pointed that “we have allowed unemployment to infiltrate every sector of the economy as a result of lips service to Cooperatives Development, noting we lagged behind as a country and a continent in general as a result of our inability to take advantage of cooperatives movement”.
The Hon. Minister revealed that the world is at a cross road, with the need to create over 600 million new jobs globally by 2030 to keep pace with the growth of the working population. Cooperatives, he said, worldwide have shown their capacity to provide quality job and thus support sustainable development.
He however pledged government’s commitment to the smooth implementation of the project, adding the successful implementation of the project would address the high levels of poverty in the three Northern Regions and the country as a whole.
The Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Salifu Saeed reiterated the effort of government to add value to the FBCs and FBOs. He said the” three Northern regions are Agriculture and Agriculture is for the three Northern regions”. He promised government will ensure proper monitoring of the activities of the FBCs and the FBOs so that the investment of KOICA does not go waste.
The Regional Minister also commended the Korean Government for the project and re- echoed that it would not only help improve the livelihood of the people but would also improve food security.
In a related development, KOICA is implementing seven (7) development project in Ghana for the period 2018. The first to be launched is the capacity development of FBCs and FBOs at Tamale in the Northern region.
This will comprise training of trainers, training of leaders of FBCs and FBOs, overseas invitational training, cooperative policy advisory, a pilot project and a marketing support.
Meanwhile, stakeholders have called on the government to think beyond the 3 year project and see how best the enhanced capacities will continue to be sustained for the future and cooperatives also to try hard as change agents to drive the change in their communities.