GIZ builds capacity of agricultural staff to combat pests and diseases

Wa, The German International Co-operation (GIZ) has kicked started its first series of training aimed at building the capacities of regional and district staff of agriculture as well as Agriculture Extension Agents (AEAs) on pests and disease control.

Pests and diseases have been identified as one of the biggest threats to the success of the Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP); a 160 million Euros project that is co-financed by the European Union (EU) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and the German Government.

MOAP is being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) with support from GIZ, hence the essence of the series of capacity building trainings for all MoFA staff within the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) Zone Six.

SADA Zone Six comprises all 11 districts in the Upper West Region and three districts in the Northern Region.

Briefing the Ghana News Agency on the training, Mr Charles Kwame Sackey, Component Manager, Decentralization and Agriculture Development, said the pests and disease management and control training was based on the seven selected value chain commodities.

They include, rice, sorghum, mango, cashew, vegetables, soya bean and groundnuts.

Mr Sackey said the training would build the capacity of the officers to support farmers to control pests and diseases on their farms in order to get maximum yields.

The first series of trainings brought together about 90 participants drawn from Sissala West, Sissala East, Wa West, Wa Municipal, and Wa East Districts including the Regional Officers of Agriculture.

In another development, MOAP has also engaged the District Planning and Coordination Units (DPCUs) in the Upper West Region in a separate three-day capacity building training with the aim of helping them promote sustainable and inclusive agriculture that would improve livelihoods and food security.

Madam Fati Koray, a Deputy Director at the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), said the development of the District Medium Term Development Plans (DMTDPs) was one of the essential pillars for monitoring and tracking the development of districts and communities.

I am confident that this training on Strategic Planning, Participatory Tools, Physical and Community Planning will equip all members on the appropriate techniques and tools to use to be able to come out with a quality and appropriate MTDPs for your districts, she said.

Madam Fati said the training on Community and Physical Planning would among others highlight the importance of maps and critical components of the physical planning process and the evaluation of physical development projects, through the collection, processing and analysing spatial data.

She said the team would also be trained in using data collection tools such as Global Positioning Systems (GPSs) instruments and how data was collected, processed and analysed using Geographic Information System (GIS) software.

She thanked GIZ and the EU for supporting the training programme through MOAP.

Source: Ghana News Agency