Farmers across the five regions of the North have called on government of Ghana to channel more resources into the agricultural sector of the country and improve upon the existing interventions to increase crop yields and food production in the country.
They are also calling on government to do wide consultations by engaging farmers directly in the implementation of these policies and also make the flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme (PF&J) an all year round initiative.
They further requested the timely release of government subsidized fertilizer before the farming season commences so that they can realize the full benefit of the policy and that the availability of extension officers should be enhanced.
These demands of the local farmers were captured in the 2019 Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) Agro Policy Performance Barometer Report (APPBR 2019) with the support of Oxfam Ghana.
Coordinator of the GTLC, Mr. Ibrahim Akalbila presented the report before stakeholders from the Northern, North East, Savannah, Upper East and Upper West regions in the agricultural value-chain at its policy dialogue forum on gender responsive budgeting in Tamale last Thursday.
The farmers also called for a ban on the importation of tomatoes into the country and urged the government to take the necessary steps to revamp the country’s tomato factories.
Mr. Ibrahim Akalbila told THE CUSTODIAN that the farmers also called on the private sector players to help them to access credit facilities to enhance their farming activities because access to credit is still a major challenge to the farmers, more particularly women in farming.
He indicated the cost of farming inputs such as tractors and other implements are other areas the Ghanaian farmer wants the government to subsidize.
Mr Akalbila observed that the gender inequality gap is detrimental to the sustainability of development in the country and posited further that this is due to lack of proper planning.
“We believe that as stakeholders if we want to have sustainable development, development devoid of inequality, whether gender inequality or income, we need to get our acts right which includes planning adequately and include all manner of persons (men, women, persons with disability and the youth) to ensure as much as possible the budget we have reach all of them” Mr. Akalbila emphasized.
For her part, the Acting Northern Regional Director for Agriculture, Madam Hawa Musah said government in the last crop season provided substantial quantity of fertilizer and seeds to benefit many farmers in the region.
However, she assured that the government is very much concern about agricultural mechanization in the country, adding the Ministry of Agriculture is already importing a lot combine harvesters into the country.
She urged the farmers to contact their respective districts with their applications to acquire some farm machinery in Accra.
Notwithstanding that, the Acting Director called for collaboration between the government and non-state players to transform the agricultural sector of Ghana.