Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (Nov. 10, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson arrived in the Republic of Ghana today to discuss the history of NFU and the development of cooperatives in the United States at the National Food and Agric Show (FAGRO). Johnson will also meet with President John Dramani Mahama, Minister for Food and Agriculture Fifi Kwetey and Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Sherry Ayitey to discuss how cooperatives can promote sustainable agriculture in Ghana.

“I am excited to be able to discuss and promote cooperatives as a means for agricultural sustainability in Ghana,” said Johnson. “Cooperatives provide education and training for members, managers and employees, who can then utilize that knowledge to effectively develop not only their cooperatives, but also their communities.”

Johnson noted that Farmers Union has a rich history of supporting and developing cooperatives, and with that comes the ability to speak to the successes of cooperatives in agriculture. Through the technical assistance and funding provided by Farmers Union, cooperatives throughout the United States have been able to benefit their local communities.

“Ghanaian officials have reached out to NFU in the past to explore the cooperative model in the United States,” said Johnson. “I believe that the successes of the Farmers Union push for cooperatives in the United States can be modeled in Ghana for the betterment of their agriculture industry.”

Johnson will also be the guest speaker at the opening ceremony of FAGRO 2014, where he will speak on the topics of sustainable agricultural growth and development, and treating agriculture as a business. He noted that Ghana’s economy relies heavily upon its agriculture sector, as it represents 21 percent of the nation’s GDP and 52 percent of the labor force.

“The health and vibrancy of Ghana’s agriculture sector, just as it is in the United States, is incredibly important to the health and vibrancy of the entire nation,” said Johnson. “I am happy to be able to help in the development of a sustainable model for agriculture in Ghana.”

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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