The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), has presented quantities of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to some Farmer-Based Cooperatives ((FBCs) and Farmer-Based Organizations (FBOs) in the five Northern regions of the country to aid the response against the COVID-19 pandemic.
They were presented to 210 FBCs and FBOs with an estimated membership of about 19,000 smallholder farmers.
The items, valued at about US$74,000.00, included; veronica buckets, liquid soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, nose masks, and infection-prevention educational materials.
The donation was done in partnership with the Association of Church-based Development Project (ACDEP), and formed part of the KOICA's "Capacity Development of FBCs and FBOs Project', that sought to build capacities of smallholder farmers to promote sustainable agriculture as means of ensuring food security and economic growth.
It is being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) through the Department of Cooperatives and the Association of Church Development Projects (ACDEP), with funding support from the Government of the Republic of Korea.
The Project, which started in 2017, comprised of six major components, which included Cooperative Policy Advisory, Training of Trainers (TOT), Training of FBC/FBO leaders (TOL), Overseas Invitational Training in Korea, Networking and Marketing Support, and Support for Pilot Projects.
Presenting the items, Mr Clement Wumlara Yakubu, Project Operations Coordinator at KOICA, said: "As agencies working in the area of development assistant in Ghana, this presentation sought to solidarize with its partners and stakeholders in these uncertain times by extending basic relief to their membership, particularly those in the most vulnerable socio-economic positions".
He said the gesture was also to complement the government's efforts towards combating the spread of the virus in the country.
He advised beneficiaries to ensure that the items served the purpose for which they were donated.
Mr Yakubu encouraged them to continue to strictly adhere to the preventive measures put in place by the government.
Mr John Jabaah Benam, Deputy Northern Regional Minister, who received the items on behalf of the beneficiaries, expressed gratitude to KOICA and its partners for the intervention and said they would enhance activities of beneficiaries.
Mr Emmanuel Agyapong, Northern Regional Director of Department of Cooperatives, expressed appreciation to the donors for the gesture, adding that, the items would boost the morale of beneficiaries.
Mr Laribik Konlan, a representative of the FBCs, further thanked the KOICA for the PPE, saying, "We are grateful for the items being given to us and they will help to prevent us from contracting the virus".