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Small scale farmers urged to register with Agric Ministry

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Small scale farmers have been urged to register with the various Municipal and District Offices of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in order to access subsidized farm inputs.

Having a proper data base of farmers across all districts would enable government and other stakeholders to plan ahead of farming seasons to ensure the timely supply of inputs to farmers, Mr. Cezar Kale, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister has said.

Mr. Kale who made the call during this years national farmers’ week campaign held at Wa on Thursday said government places high premium on agriculture and would continue to take bold initiatives needed to improve the sector.

He said the breeding of animals under the livestock Development Project (PDL), the establishment of Farmers Service Centres to aid the mechanisation of agriculture, the establishment of a Sheanut Processing Factory at Buipe and the establishment of Mango plantations across all regions among others were testimony of the government’s commitment to improve the Agricultural sector.

Organised by the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC), the event was on the theme: “Smallholder Farmers: Reserving the Right to be more Productive”.

He advised the farmers to move away from the over dependence on chemical fertilizers to the use of natural bio organic fertilizer, saying, the approach apart from being environmentally friendly reduces the cost of farming.

The Deputy Regional Minister said advances in agriculture over the years had taken some people out of poverty and appealed to many others especially the youth to go into farming.

Mr. Kale also advised the farmers to take advantage of the new pension scheme especially the third tier which targeted the informal sector.

Mr. Benin Juatie Justice, Upper West Focal Person, said one of the key advocacy areas of the coalition was to influence national and regional policies on incomes and livelihoods of small scale farmers and producers.

He said the coalition in 2006 institutionalized the national farmers’ week campaign with the objective of bringing small holder farmers together to showcase their concerns and make pragmatic to enhance national farmers day celebration.

This years’ national event brought together about 1,000 farmers across the ten regions of Ghana.

Mr. Ibrahim Akalbila, GTLC national Coordinator, appealed to the government to set aside a budgetary allocation to support small scale farmers.

He reiterated the need for smallholder farmers to form groups, stressing that it would enable them to become stronger and more united to be able to have influence on government policies.

Mr. Mohammed Adam Nashiru, National President, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) and a former National Best Farmer appealed to the farmers to repay bank loans so that other could benefit from the facility.

Source: GNA

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