Improving agriculture in the north can stop food imports – Minister

The massive agricultural potential in the northern sector needs to be developed so that the country can stop importing some food items and also meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in good time.

Mr. Mark Woyongo, the Upper East Regional Minister, said this when he interacted with workers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in Bolgatanga, on Thursday as part of his tour of all the ministries in the region.

He said vast tracts of land suitable for rice cultivation could be put to use and farmers could be encouraged to breed local poultry, especially guinea fowl, which is more resistant to diseases.

Mr Woyongo said the Northern and Upper East regions had stepped up rice production and are looking forward to a good harvest while incubators had been acquired for farmers to rear guinea fowls in large numbers.

“We have the land, people to work and on the part of  government, good will and support, so we can produce enough food so it gets to everybody”, he said.

He said under the new measures taken to develop the north, dams would be rehabilitated and more built to promote irrigation so that farming would be done all year round.

Alhaji Abdul Razaq Ziblim, Acting Regional Director of MOFA, said erratic and short rainy season, poor soils, low number of personnel and shortage of drugs for animals were some of the big challenges facing the ministry in the region.

He said while subsidies on fertilizer would help with the soils, the ministry had adopted a strategy to use pumps to irrigate lands near water bodies during the dry season.

Source: GNA

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