Floods won’t affect food production – Agric Ministry
Food production in the Northern Region will not be adversely affected despite the heavy rains with floods in some parts of the Region, Mr Joseph Yeng Faalong, Northern Regional Director of the Food and Agriculture Ministry has said.
He said on the contrary, the rains would impact positively on food production in the area.
Mr Faalong, who told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Tamale on Monday, said rainfall this year was above the average, noting that the rainfall figures in the area ranged between 1,200 to 1,300mm.
“Although the rains had caused havoc, it will on the other hand help to boost the production of farm yields and to facilitate the country’s efforts at achieving its target of food sufficiency,” he said.
He said government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) had introduced measures including subsidy on fertilizer, block farms system and the rice sector support project, which would help to complement the food production needs of the people.
“We are expecting a positive harvest,” he added.
Mr Faalong said over 60,000 bags of subsidized fertilizer had been given to farmers under the block farm project, who were expected to pay in kind after harvest, adding that 16,000 hectares of various crops were under cultivation.
He said purchasing of grains through the buffer stock companies at Nasia had boosted production by farmers with the hope that their produce would not go bad.
Mr Faalong, however, expressed worry that some farmers that have their farms in marshy areas would find it difficult to harvest and he announced that Government had acquired four mashing-prone equipments to be able to harvest the rice in those areas.
He said government had also acquired 18 combine harvesters for the Region to harvest rice while six other private combine harvesters had been serviced for harvesting.
Mr Faalong said the country still had a short fall in meeting the 60,000 metric tons of its rice requirements, adding that “About 70 percent of the rice needs were locally produced in the Northern, Upper East and the Volta Regions”.
He also indicated that post harvest loss was still a problem to farmers and said efforts were being made to address it.