Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has supported the Yam Development Council and Ghana Root Crops and Tubers Exporters Union (GROCTEU) in organizing a Yam training programme in Kpandai and Dambai to help yam farmers increase the quality and quantities of yam export from Ghana.
Savannah Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) provided resource persons for the training while forty-three (43) participants were drawn from GROCTEU, Yam Development Council and a number of yam farmers associations.
The training session was in two parts; a classroom session where farmers were taken through Good Agricultural Practices (GLOBAL G.A.P.) and a practical component on the farm for demonstration of these best practice methods.
Participants were taken through best in class farming methods some of which included, not burning farms after clearing, not using chemicals popularly called “condemned”, which is injurious to the land and the human beings who feed on yam as well, using appropriate mounds for planting to control weeds and achieve good crops, employ the sticking method in planting to get enough sunlight and improved growth for a better yield, being open to new technology/new practices of farming.
Mr. Sayibu Ibrahim, a Field Technician at SARI took participants through the rudiments of yam export, explaining what ‘perfect’ crops for export look like and features to look out for.
As part of the training session, registered farmers were promised quality seeds for planting, with the intention of achieving quality tubers from yam farmers. They were cautioned not to sell the proceeds to anyone apart from GROCTEU/council members. The farmers were assured of regular field visits to monitor the output.
Majority of the farmers showed appreciation for the capacity building initiative and promised to give off their best to practice what they had been taught. They were excited about the hope of accessing ready markets for their yam and pledged their readiness to ensure that the programme succeeds.
Yam is a leading agricultural export commodity for Ghana with an annual average production of about eight million tons. Ghana’s export of the commodity ranks sixth in the world, representing 10.3 percent of world exports as at 2016.