FairTrade Africa, a member of the international Fairtrade Movement, has launched the Equity Project worth 3.9 million Euros to support producer organisations within West Africa in Accra.
The project funded by the French Development Agency (FDA) and the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and was to help producer organisations to develop themselves and identify issues that confronted them within their work and how to address them.
Held under the theme: “Fair Trade and Agro-Ecology; The Path to the Future” it brought together participants from Ghana Cocobod, ministries, Ghana Export Promotion Council and Non Governmental Organisations in the agricultural sector.
Mrs. Martha Rainer Opoku Mensah, the National Technical Assistant of the Equity Project said the funds would be shared among 20 producer organisations within five countries.
The countries include Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali and Togo.
The project, she noted would focus on specific areas such as cocoa, cashew, citrus, shea butter and crafts such as basket weaving and batik tie and dye.
Mrs. Mensah disclosed to Times Business that out of the sixteen organisations that submitted proposal from Ghana for funding, only six of them qualified.
They included Solid Rock Association, an NGO into handicraft, Assin Citrus, Mpoho Wassa, Trade Aid, Seredir de Palm and National Platform.
Mr. Kwame Banson, Members and Partnership Manager of FairTrade West Africa urged the organisations whose concepts were accepted to develop it into full projects.
“I would encourage those whose proposals were accepted to further develop their concepts into full projects in order to make an impact,” he stressed.
Mr. Banson bemoaned Ghana and Ivory Coast’s inability to determine the prices of cocoa on the international market.
Ghana and Ivory Coast produce about 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa but have not benefited due to lack of bargaining power on the part of both countries, he added.
He urged the two countries to form a body that would determine the price of the cash crop at the international level.
By Emelia Enyonam Kuleke
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