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Northern Women Gari Processing Group Holds Stakeholders Workshop At Wenchi (BA/R)

Northern Women Gari processing group at Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region has held a stakeholders workshop as part of their business advocacy project under the theme “Advocating for facilities for poverty elevation”.

 

The one day workshop was to sensitize stakeholders on the findings of a research project carried out by the Business Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSACF) on challenges the Women Group face at the factory. It identified the lack of electricity supply from the national grid to the factory and the retention of part of processing equipment allocated to the group since the last five (5) years and still in the custody of the Assembly.

The research also confirmed that members of the group were losing income, profits and businesses due to the absence of the processing facilities.  Other issues that come to light during the research and confirmed by the stakeholders was the lack of access to institutional credit, lack of access to land and lack of ready market for their produce, which is gari. The findings were presented to the stakeholders by the Business Service Provider, Nana Kofro II.

In responding, Mr. Samuel Afoakwa, Planning Officer for Wenchi Municipal Assembly who deputized for the Municipal Chief Executive was happy about the event and the information put out and thanked the woman group for their effort in bringing out the issues clearly for solution.

He indicated that part of the problem was due to lack of effective communication between the Women Group and the Assembly. He assured the Group that the Assembly would address their problems as highlighted and called for a copy of the research findings for their information.

Nana Seprepa Opoku Ababio II, Krobohene and representative of the Wenchi Traditional Council lauded the women for their bold initiative in dealing with post-harvest lost in the Municipality and promise to give land to the group for them to cultivate their own cassava to feed the factory.

The advocacy research and sensitization workshop was funded by the Business Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSACF) as part of the advocacy action by the Women Group.

Following from the workshop, the Women Group seek to undertake media activities including radio talk shows to canvass for public support for the advocacy action. It will also present a dialogue proposal to the Wenchi Municipal Assembly to convince them to provide those facilities to promote their businesses to enable them contribute meaning to local economic development. Finally, they will also sign on Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Assembly to implement agreed solutions.

The Northern Women Gari processing group factory at Wenchi was established in 2004, and the project benefited many cassava farmers in the Municipality. It produces about 60 bags of gari per month despite the challenges and their target consumers are the second cycle institutions in the Municipality and beyond.

In terms of employment the factory engaged about 60 people who include cassava peelers, out growers, fryers.

The workshop was attended by representatives from Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Business Advisory Centre (BAC), Planning Officer, the Community Development Officer, Wenchi Traditional Assembly, BUSAC Fund Monitor and Consultant for the Project.

 

Source: ISD (Imoro T. Ayibani)

 

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