Ghana’s farmers, fisherman plan on food security

market-womanThe Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen (GNAFF) has devised a strategy to improve and sustain the country’s food stock to ensure food security in the country.

According to the association, “the strat­egy could lead to an agriculture-led socio­economic development of Ghana” and has, therefore, appealed to the government for assistance in its implementation.

The Executive Secretary of GNAFF, Mr Charles K. Annan, who made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said the strategy covered the crop, animal and fisheries sectors.

In the crop production sector, for exam­ple, he cited the establishment of serviced agricultural land at community levels, where land would be allotted to smallhold­er farmers for the cultivation of maize, rice, groundnuts, sorghum, cowpea and soybean.

“For the animal production sector, we intend to establish out-grower schemes for broiler, egg and ruminant production,” he stated, and added that for the fisheries sec­tor, they would ensure the establishment of out-grower fish farming units for freshwa­ter fish and shellfish.

These activities, he said, were based on a “service provision” approach, whereby service providers would make available to farmers and fisherfolks a wide range of ser­vices that would enable farmers and fisher­folks to access technologies that would enhance agricultural production.

“The use of service providers creates a ‘multiplier effect’ in the rapid transfer of technologies. This is because it will be pos­sible to engage professional agriculturists to directly undertake or supervise the provision of on-farm services and fisheries production services,” he added.

That, Mr Annan noted, also meant that farmers and fishermen would be able to have the benefits of technologies utilised in precision farming systems and gradually accumulate knowledge for better manage­ment.

“For example, in crop farming, Preci­sion Farming Systems (PFS) field activities would produce valuable field and manage­ment information. Farmers can thus accu­mulate knowledge about their farms and production systems to achieve better man­agement,” he indicated.

PFS, he said, was a system where information technology was used to collect, process and analyse multi-source data for decision-making.

Mr Annan acknowledged the impor­tance of the strategy, which he said improved a farmer’s management skills through the accumulation of data and infor­mation.

Some of the advantages of this strategy, he said, contributed to an overall yield increase, reduced production costs, better decision-making in agricultural manage­ment, and reduced environmental impact through timely application of agro-chemi­cals at an accurate rate to reduce environ­mental pollution.

With adequate assistance from the gov­ernment, he said PFS’s field activities could produce valuable field and management information where the data would be stored in tools and computers.

“Farmers can thus accumulate knowl­edge about their farms and production sys­tems to achieve better management to ensure food security in the country,” he said.

Source: Daily Graphic

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