Mr Felix Darimaani, National Coordinator for Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) has tasked farmers to adopt standard procedure in producing quality grains that are free from aflatoxin and enable them to increase the market value of their produce.
Mr Darimaani made this disclosure while addressing some farmers at Gushie in the Savelugu/Nanton Municipality in the Northern Region of Ghana to sensitise farmers on the best method they could use in producing quality grains.
Darimaani said aflatoxins are metabolic and toxic substances produced by certain fungi that are found in foods including grains, stressing that it could results in many health problems including liver infections and could also cause cancers.
The training was part of partnership programme that the NRGP has entered into with Nestle Ghana Limited to ensure that farmers in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and parts of Brong Ahafo regions are able to sell their grains to Nestle Ghana at a competitive pricing.
NRGP is funded by the African Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development to develop rural farmers’ capacity to increase their yields and get access to market through the value-chain approach.
He said that through the partnership which started in 2011, 48,158 farmers have so far been trained to produce quality grains and have been selling their produce to Nestle Ghana to produce variety of their products.
According to him, NRGP and Nestle Ghana have a symbiotic relationship where farmers stand to benefit the most noting that the prices offered to farmers by Nestle is very good and urged more farmers to meet the standard required.
He explained that staff of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture assisted in training the farmers at the community level in collaboration with NRGP and aggregators measure the quality standards to ensure that the products meet Nestlé’s specifications.
Commenting further, the Procurement and Agricultural Manager for Nestle Central and West Africa Mr Klutse Kudomor, said the organisation believes in creating value in society through good nutrition, water and rural development.
Kudomor said Nestle has been buying 1000 metric tons of maize annually from Ghanaian farmers and 300 metric tons of millet and would increase the quantum by 15 per cent every year.
He said the organisation has decided to purchase their produce from the local communities in Ghana because it wants to increase local content and give value to consumers who include the farmers who produce the grains for the products.