Mr. Stephen Kwadwo Agyei, the 2011 Brong-Ahafo Regional Best Farmer, has commended International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for supporting the government to promote the cultivation of root and tuber crops.
In 1999 the government, through IFAD, advised the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to launch a project dubbed “Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme (RTIMP)” with the objective of encouraging yam, cassava, sweet potato and cocoyam farmers increase cultivation.
Mr. Agyei told the GNA in an interview that he had chalked successes through the cultivation of cassava.
He is the owner of Progressive Farms at Jerusalem, a settler farming community in Nkoranza South District, and produces food crops, tree plantations, livestock and poultry, as well as fish ponds.
Mr. Agyei said root and tuber crops had comparative advantage over food crops like maize, ground nuts and other cereals as inconsistent rainfall patterns had little effect on yam, cocoyam and root crops.
He said a properly managed one acre cassava farm “can fetch a farmer about GH¢2,000” and advised the unemployed youth to form groups and cultivate cassava.
Mr. Agyei suggested to project officers of banking institutions to collaborate with agricultural extension agents to inspect farms to ensure they recommend and approve loans to qualified farmers.