Farmers urged to adopt modernized forms of agriculture
Farmers have been advised to adapt to modernized methods of agriculture to make poverty a thing of the past.
Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, who gave the advice, said farmers particularly those in the Northern Region, should embrace technical assistance and new crop varieties introduced by research institutions in order to boost their yields and incomes.
He was addressing the regional celebration of the the 27th Farmers Day at Chereponi, which was held under the theme: “Grow More Food: Research for Sustainable Agricultural Development.”
A total of 29 farmers in the Region and 20 others from the Chereponi District were honoured for their hard work. They include 55-year-old Alhaji Baba Abdulai Yakubu from Tamale, who was adjudged the Northern Region 2011 best farmer and Issah Abdulai, a 46 year old physically challenge from the East Gonja District.
Madam Nalerigu Yaw, who won the Region’s sheanuts picker of the year, was among eight women awardees.
The Burgu community in the East Mamprusi District was awarded for adopting no bush burning policy in their locality.
The prizes ranged from corn mill, motorbikes, bicycles, spraying machines, wax print, agro chemicals and certificates of recognition.
Mr. Mabengba said the government under the Better Ghana agenda was pursuing vigorous research initiatives through the Ministry of Agriculture and other partners to not only boost yields but also to improve crop varieties like maize, rice, cotton, soya and other horticultural crops to serve the growing population.
He, therefore, encouraged the youth to take advantage of new policies and programs like the Block Farming, Youth in Agriculture and the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority rather than going in search of menial jobs elsewhere.
The Minister in commending the farmers for their contribution to the economy solicited the support of chiefs and communities towards eradicating the perennial bush burning, which he said “inflicts harm on the environment, destroys crops and the soil quality.”
Mr. Joseph Y. Farlong, Northern Regional Director of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said the Region’s agricultural potentials could only be boosted if innovative ways of farming were adopted by farmers.
He said there was no excuse for the Region to be poor with about 70 per cent of land being viable for crop production.
Mr Farlong, therefore, called on communities particularly farmers to step up efforts to increase yields alongside adaptation of climate change activities to give meaning to government’s continuous assistance in terms of subsidized inputs and agricultural machinery like tractors and combined-harvesters.
The DCE for Chereponi, Alhaji Issah Abah appealed to government to pay attention to the rehabilitation and expansion of dams and dug-outs to benefit farmers all year round to reduce reliance on rain-fed agriculture.
He said HIV/AIDS was another challenge if not curtailed could pose a threat to achieving food and income securities for farmers and the population at large.