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IITA presents multipurpose threshers to soybean farmers in northern region

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The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Yara Ghana under the Sustainable Soyabean Production in Northern Ghana (SSPiNG) project funded by NORAD have presented multipurpose threshers to some soybean farmers from 12 districts across the five regions in northern Ghana through a
competitive thresher grant scheme.

Beneficiaries went through multiple stages in vigorous application
and review process to be selected as winners for the thresher grants. As part of the grant scheme, the beneficiaries contributed 60 percent of the total cost of the machines while the project paid 40 percent. Afua Ohene Ampofo, Station Administrator for IITA Ghana, who spoke to the media after the presentation explained the rationale behind the award of the thresher grants.

She encouraged the youth to show interest in the Soybean industry and take advantage of the opportunities available to improve their livelihoods. CEO of Awo Fields Ltd, Supplier and Distributor of the Turkey-made multipurpose threshers, Joy Okra, indicates the machines will help deal with post-harvest losses and make soybean farming easier.
β€˜β€™We these machines to solve post-harvest losses and encourage more youth and a lot of people to go into farming. We also want to make farming easier by bringing simple farm machines so that we’ll not see farming as punishment, she said.

Mahama Abdul Rahaman is a Commercial Manager for Yara Ghana responsible for the northern zone and he emphasized the importance of SSPiNG project to farmers.

β€˜β€™Yara is happy to be part of the SSPiNG project because it is about soybean production, and now we all know that soybean is an emerging cash crop for our farmers in the north, so the SSPiNG project is to facilitate the training of the farmers on the good agronomic practices of soybean production to improve their yields.

He added that β€˜β€™most farmers didn’t know soybeans require fertilizer just like any other crop, so were are part of the project to ensure that the right fertilizer for soybean is provided to the farmer to be able to improve upon their yield.’’

Sammuel Bakaweri a beneficiary who spoke on behalf of other beneficiaries said β€˜β€™ It’s been exciting working IITA, we have gained a lot of knowledge and support from them directly. Threshing of soybean over the years has been difficult for us, but with these machines, we’ll be able to work productively’’, he indicates.

SSPiNG Project which is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation was launched in 2021 with the aim of facilitating a sustainable supply of soyabean grains of sufficient quality and quantity in response to proven local demand thereby ensuring that producers and all value chain partners, including smallholder soyabean producers generate sufficient margins to continue their engagement in the soyabean value chain. It also seeks to enable rural households to raise their incomes
and improve food security on a sustainable basis.

Other partners of the project are Agriculture (MoFA), Wageningen University and Research (based in the Netherlands) and FelleskjΓΈpet Rogaland Agder (based in Norway). According to MoFA, the country currently produces about 180,000 metric tons annually while domestic demand is more than 300,000 metric tons.

The statistics also show that the country’s annual soyabean production potential is 700,000 metric tons, covering an area of about 250,000 hectares while the area under cultivation of soyabean is about 102,000 hectares.

The country’s combined processing and export gap is 228,000 metric tons while imports (mainly processed soya meal) amount to about 200,000 metric tons. Therefore, there is growing unmet market demand and unused processing-export capacity.

Source: Zaanews.com/Ghana/Tamale/ Lilian D. Walter

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