Mr. Joe Faalong, Upper West Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, has appealed to the Japanese government to support the region with expertise and projects, to help address the nutritional challenges among children.
Mr. Faalong made the appeal at Ghana Grass cutter Project Farmers Training Workshop in Wa, to help equip 54 farmers for successful grass cutter production in the region, to enhance livelihoods.
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing 500,000 dollars for the project, which started in March this year in six districts, of which three farmers from each of the 18 communities would be provided with three females and one male Grasscutters to start with.
Mr. Faalong said about 75 percent of children below five years were faced with malnutrition challenges; a situation he noted was disturbing, as the region was performing poorly in that direction.
He urged the Japanese government not to limit its support but to continuously expand its operations into areas such as rice production, of which Japan has advantage.
Mr. Faalong said the Regional Directorate of Agriculture, and farmers whose duty were to produce to feed the people, would be happy if the Japanese government complemented their efforts with projects and technical expertise, to improve production and secure children from the plague of malnutrition.
He urged the Japanese government to buy into the ?Upper West Region Development Strategy? document and look for possible areas of investment in the region to enhance the livelihood of the people.
The farmers were trained on marker development for genetic improvement of Grass cutter, feeding management and nutrition of Grass cutter, breeding management of rodents and techniques for successful Grass cutter rearing.
Mr. Tetteh Nartey, a Grass cutter farmer from Accra, who shared his experience with the farmers, advised them to feed the rodents properly, especially during the night.
He warned the farmers against providing the rodents with fodder containing worms and spiders, as well as grasses sprayed with chemicals.