About FBO Secretariat
The Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP) and the Agricultural Extension Policy of Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) emphasizes on the use of Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) for agriculture service delivery for a more cost effective and rapid dissemination of technologies to small scale farmers. These small scale farmers face diseconomies of scale in accessing inputs, credits and markets for their outputs. Organizing farmers into groups would empower them to participate in decision making affecting their welfare in the market and social political arena and therefore increase their potential to benefit from the economies of scale inherent in operating in groups.
It is in furtherance of this policy that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture through the Agricultural Services Sub-Sector Investment Program (AgSSIP) embarked on an FBO component to facilitate the development of Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) in Ghana. The Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services (DAES), spearheading this agenda, recognized the need to set up an FBO Secretariat to facilitate, coordinate and steer the affairs of all FBO related activities in the Ministry and also to implement the Directorate’s objective of empowering farmers through the facilitation on the institutional formation and development of FBOs in the areas of marketing and agro-processing in collaboration with other stakeholders such as the Department of Cooperatives, etc.
The FBO Secretariat's Role in DAES
The FBO Secretariat, being one of the core units under the Field and Operations Unit has been assigned some key responsibilities which include;
- Collaborating with other agencies and departments to facilitate the formation, sustenance and management of Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs)
- Provision of relevant and up to date information on FBOs to all stakeholders
- Identify out-grower schemes and ensure commodity FBOs are linked to them
- Coordinate all FBO activities in the Ministry
The FBO Secretariat with the support of Donor partners, are to build the capacity (training) of FBOs on business development services and agri-business to enable FBOs conduct their enterprises in a business manner. This will enhance FBOs appreciation of the value chain actors and their roles.
The FBO Secretariat is to maintain data and information on out-grower schemes in Ghana on commodity basis, this will assist the Secretariat provide FBOs with conditions and criteria needed to enable FBO participate and ensure they benefit economically. The FBO Secretariat is also expected to maintain up to date information on FBOs in Ghana at all times. This information is shared with the public through the FBO website.
The Secretariat is to facilitate a platform for knowledge sharing for FBO apex organizations.