Peasant farmers presents “farmer manifesto” to CPP

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) at the weekend presented “The Farmers Manifesto for Election 2012 and beyond”, to the leadership of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) in Accra.

The manifesto provides a platform of common set of demands for the achievement of food security, poverty reduction and sustainable national development.

Mr Charles Kwowe Nyaabe, Programme Officer of PFAG, speaking at the presentation said small scale farmers’ face complex challenges and bottlenecks which required both central and local government intervention in concert with farmers.

He said farmers concerns ranged from low participation in agriculture and food security, governance and poor access to resources critical for making a living.

He said smallholder farmers particularly women should be given special consideration in the implementation of agricultural policy.

He said government and political parties should through the Bank of Ghana and other financial institutions regulate and make it mandatory for financial institutions to reduce the interest rates spread of their annual credit supply to farmers at a very affordable rate.

“Government and political parties should allocate specific financing schemes such as Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund, Venture Capital Fund and MASLOC to specific banks to lend in equitable and very transparent manner and at affordable rate,” he added.

The farmers’ manifesto seeks to influence political parties’ manifestos for the 2012 elections and also to be used as a tool to hold governments accountable on the delivery on small scale farmers’ priorities in the development agenda.

Mr Nyaabe said Governments and political parties should strengthen their agricultural politics particularly in the food crop sector, to reverse decades of bias in favour of cash crop production.

“Government and Political Parties should facilitate the provision and timely access to all farm inputs needed by farmers.

He called on Government to redefine the Maputo Declaration so that within the overall 10 per cent minimum budgetary expenditure target on agriculture.

Dr Abu Sakara, Presidential Candidate of CPP, said the party’s agricultural policy would focus on attaining food security for the nation, income security for farmers and fishermen and self-sufficient in the industrial sector.

He said the emphasis would also be on the use science and technology to revolutionise agriculture.

“The transformation of our agriculture to evolve beyond food security thresholds of small holder farmers to providing for our industrial needs demands the emergence of medium to larger scale commercial farming,” he noted.

He said the peasant farmers constituted the overwhelming majority of all agricultural producers and the agrarian transformation programmes of a CPP government shall therefore revolve around them.

He assured the farmers that when voted into power his government would provide means of transportation from the farm to market centres.

Source: GNA

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