Coalition of farmers Ghana | COFAG

How We Started

In Ghana 60% 0f the 28 million Population live in rural areas. Over 40% of the population are small scale farmers. Majority of these people are poor farmers who earn less than US$2 a day and live in deprived rural communities. Today, farmers and the nation are faced with food insecurity and rising poverty worsened by the effects of climate change. These are in addition to the several problems facing farmers which have been neglected by successive governments through lip service. Some land tenure laws and policies exist but have not been implemented in favour of farmer land rights. But farmers still play a significant role in national and global economies and in providing vital environmental services, though they are not paid for them. It has become increasingly important for farming to be organized as proper businesses and value added rural enterprises, using innovations and modern technologies, including ICT to enhance sustainable agricultural value chains.

Farmers need to be organized to improve their production capacity, access to markets, and building financial mechanisms to support their small and medium size farming enterprises. In recent years many of them have tried to form grass roots associations to pull their resources together and garner support for socio economic and political emancipation. These groups are very small and lack organizational and institutional ability to harness opportunities to address the problems relating to local traditional farming in a modern day economy. COFAG recognises the existence of other farmers groups, associations, alliances and networks and their right to organize and we as an entity and cooperates on common platforms for further Networking and advocacy for farmer and rural interests. But majority of farmers are not in groups; many farmers are not organized at the local and national levels and our current coalition gives an opportunity for other farmers and local groups to belong to a wider coalition and legal status for so many groups which could not afford to register at the community level.

This coalition has come about through several consultations, contacts, meetings and engaging communications among several farmers and rural organizations since 2009, but gaining momentum in 2011, and has fostered new groups, mobilizations, mergers and alliances of several kinds and involving all manner of small holder farmers and stakeholder groups engaging one another and relevant government departments leading to registrations and legalizations. We have tried hard to accommodate different shades of opinions and interests and found common ground in several areas as enshrined in our Constitution.

23 founding farmers associations of COFAG represented 62,000 farmers, and as at September, 2018 grown to about 900,000 farmers in 300 groups of farmers in villages, small towns and rural areas in all zones and regions of Ghana have come together to provide representation, leadership, capacity building, services and a voice for all small farmers groups in Ghana who believe in our mission and vision and are ready to join this coalition to continue to meet the challenges of small farmers associations and promote farmers rights and rural interests without discrimination due to social status and other affiliations.

Coalition of farmers Ghana | COFAG
Mission & Vision
Representation, Participation, advocacy, research, capacity and empowerment of Farmers for Policy changes in favour of farmers and the general Society.

A strong farmer organizational membership coalition capable of representing farmer, producer, agriculture, food security and rural interests through empowerment of members/groups, advocacy, policy, research, and networking/partnerships.


Core Values
  • DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATION AND GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES
  • EMPOWERING PARTICIPATION FOR HUMAN DIGNITY
  • TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND EFFICIENCY
  • ENVISIONING CHALLENGES AS OPPORTUNITIES
  • EQUITY AND FAIR COMPENSATION
  • BALANCING MAJORITY AND MINORITY RIGHTS
  • POSITIVE DEBATES AND MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT
  • RESPECTING RIGHT TO DIVERSITIES AND POSITIVE VULNERABILITIES
  • DYNAMIZING INDEGINEOUS AND AFRICAN SYSTEMS IN A GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT/GLOBAL VILLAGE
  • MAINTENANCE OF HAPPINESS AND HOPEFUL OF THE FUTURE
  • CONSTRUCTIVE MUTUAL CRITICAL AND ANALYTICAL APPROACH TO PARTNERSHIPS
  • ACTING LOCALLY AND VOICING NATIONALLY AND GLOBALLY
  • PROMOTION OF COMMON PLATFORMS IN THE RECOGNITION OF DIFFERENCES
  • POSITIVE INTERGRATION OF DIVERSE INTERESTS THROUGH COMPREHENSIVENESS
  • ENHANCING ICT, KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND INNOVATIONS IN TRADITIONAL GHANAIAN RURAL CULTURAL SETTINGS
  • EXCELLENCE, QUALITY, LESSONS LEARNED, RENEWALS, DYNAMISM, ADAPTATION, REPLICATION AND SCALING UP BEST PRACTICES INSTEAD OF RE-INVENTING THE WHEEL.
Coalition of farmers Ghana | COFAG
Goals

Promote the sustainable welfare, interest and wellbeing of Farmers/Producers,

Undertake Advocacy for farmers, small holder farmers, women farmers, youth farmers and farmer organizations locally, nationally and globally, using our local but rich and indigenous knowledge management to inform national and global policies affecting farmer interests, pricing of agricultural produce, food security, rural poverty and livelihoods, agriculture, environment, sustainable development, eco-systems and natural resources management, water resources, climate change, SDGs and make local farmers understand and apply knowledge in their farming cultural practices.

Enhance the development of farmers, farmer organizations and rural and community based organizations, agri-business and cooperatives,

Use ICT, appropriate technology and knowledge management to enhance activities along sustainable agricultural value chains.

Promote the Empowerment of farmers, especially female and Youth farmers, to build self-esteem, competences, capacities and connectedness under a Farming for Generation Project(FGP).

Training farmers, farmers groups, rural dwellers and their institutions,

Secure Finance for members as individuals and in groups, of different kinds and shapes depending on needs and interests, set up farmer financial institutions/banks and value addition companies.

Provide Support to farmer and farmer-group members, associates, affiliates and other stakeholders on small holder farmer/producer needs, rights and demands.

Facilitate market linkages both locally and internationally and ensure value for members produce.

Promote safe/wholesome/healthy/quality food production, food and income security to enhance better livelihoods for rural people that will contribute to developing sustainable rural economies.

Contribute to Local, National and global policies and campaigns including SDGs.

Create Opportunities for educating farmers, rural people and providing resources for farmers to benefit from better infrastructural facilities and Sustainable Agricultural value chains.( Value addition).

Support Local, national and global linkages and exchanges with farmers and farmer- organizations.

Promote farmer-to-farmer and farmer organization to- farmer organization linkages and exchanges for mutual win-win benefits and local, national and global partnerships, platforms, alliances and Networking with Organizations and individuals, professionals on common areas of interest, work and collaboration.

Coalition of farmers Ghana | COFAG
Objectives
  • To enhance fair Representation, strong Networks and Alliances for Farmer and rural interest in National life.
  • To provide finance and logistics for Farmers, sustainable rural development, agri- business and rural enterprises.
  • To provide capacity and training opportunities for rural peoples including ICT, Research and Innovation.
  • To Support legislation and International Conventions for sustainable agriculture, rural development, Climate Change, MDGs, Fair Trade and farmers rights.
  • To promote and advocate for Policies, legislation, political voice and activism supporting farmer and rural interests.
  • To Promote gender and special groups interests (youth, women, disabled/challenged, voiceless, non-formally educated, special needs) in sustainable agricultural value chains, rural development and Sustainable Natural resource management.
  • To strengthen the capacity of small and medium rural farmers for agro-forestry and reforestation.
  • To promote access to markets and finance for small and medium size agro-forestry and reforestation.
  • To promote partnerships and networking for small and medium size farmers for forestry.
  • To promote advocacy for policies on land tenure, resource rights and rural forestry.
  • To research for solutions on climate change on arid and semi-arid areas and rural livelihoods.
  • To promote agriculture and forestry-based green enterprises, food security and poverty reduction.