Technical staff from the Department of Agriculture of the Biakoye District in the Oti region have been trained on ways to enhance service delivery to farmers and value chain actors in the agricultural sector.
They were trained in Monitoring and Evaluation and in Management Information systems to ensure effective data collection and record-keeping, as well as in Kitchen or Home Garden Management using the food-based approach to address anaemia.
Madam Angel-Mmafiik Ayarick, the Acting Biakoye District Director of Agriculture, said the training would address the performance gaps that would have affected the Department and the District as a whole.
She said since the Government was investing so much in agriculture, challenges such as post-harvest losses and malnutrition at the end of the planting season would be curtailed when staff capacity was built to handle such challenges.
Madam Ayarick said the training would go a long way to positively affect farmers in the district, adding that “data collection and analysis plays a vital role in the planning and policy development.
“We provide the primary data that feeds into the region and get analysed at the national level”.
She said it was important that data from them as primary providers must be accurate and meet the needs of Ghanaians in informing policies.
“We must move away from the cyclical challenge of this is the norm and break even by impacting positively in the staff and field officers who have direct contact with the farmer so that it will increase the income generation, yield and crop production of the district.”
Madam Ayarick noted that the 2020 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) Ghana ranked the district as the lowest food secure in the Oti region, which called for the Kitchen Garden intervention to ensure household food security and nutrition.
“It’s on this basis that the Department is initiating the Kitchen Garden system by leveraging on lessons and experiences from the JICA-Krachi West project with breast feeding and women of reproductive age being target beneficiaries to the project.”
Mr Atta Adusei, the Krachi-West Municipal Director of Agriculture and the facilitator, said it was important for a department to put up reports about their activities and to revisit them to see if they were in line with the proposals in their work plan.
He said the kitchen or home garden practice using the food-based approach was aimed at reducing the challenge of malnutrition and the anaemic situation in the district.
Mr Vincent Banya, the Biakoye District Coordinating Director, said the Department had played a significant role in food production in the district, which also included informing policies and programmes and pledged the Assembly’s support for the department in executing its tasks.
By Edward Williams, GNA