GHANA – Ghana’s National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) has secured US$9.21 million (GHS50 million) funding to boost purchase of grains from farmers in the country.

The funding provided by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) will be utilized by NAFCO to purchase grains under the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

According to a GhanaWeb report, the National Food Buffer Stock Company is expected to commit the funds into the purchasing of maize, local rice, cowpea and peanuts for onward supply to schools for the Free Senior High School program.

It will also enable the company to mop up excess produce from farmers to reduce post-harvest losses through the government’s One District, One Warehouse Policy.

ADB said that the financial package will serve as a boost to the agriculture sector and strengthens the bank’s vision of improving the development of Ghana’s agricultural value chain by providing relief for farmers in the country.

The facility represents over 120% percent increase in the 2018 support from the bank to NAFCO for the exercise, a development which according to the bank, was as a result of the sterling performance of the company during the 2018 crop season.

The Managing Director of ADB, Dr. John Kofi Mensah, affirmed that the bank will continue to support the government’s agricultural initiatives and interventions.

He noted that under the PFJ program, the bank had committed over US$18.42 million (GHS100 million) in the form of letters of credit and working capital loans to input suppliers under the program.

Dr. Kofi Mensah further hinted that the Bank was looking forward to partnering NAFCO in setting up post-harvest and processing technologies to deal with the many perishables such as plantain and tomatoes.

The Chief Executive Officer of NAFCO, Alhaji Abdul Hannan, noted that the introduction of the PFJ programme has significantly changed the landscape of agriculture in Ghana, stressing that the policy has led to increase in food productivity.

He maintained that one of the core mandates of NAFCO is to offer local farmers a ready market for their produce, thereby reducing post-harvest losses and improving productivity in subsequent years.

He said that the funding will enable the company to purchase grains from farmers for onward supply to selected state institutions, especially the public boarding second cycle institutions under the Free SHS program.