Government must guarantee food security – Dr Ahadzie

Dr. George Ahadzi, Executive Director of Green Earth Organisation, has appealed to the government to invest more in agriculture to guarantee sustainable food supply.

He said food security largely depended on contributions of smallholder farmers, but these farmers were facing many challenges such as lack of access to services of extension officers, non-availability of fertilizers, bad roads and lack of access to loan facilities to expand their farms.

Dr. Ahadzi made this call during a forum jointly organized by Green Earth Organisation and Actionaid Ghana on Thursday for parliamentary candidates in Domeabra/Obom constituency.

He appealed to the government to consider resuscitating the agricultural colleges which appear defunct to enable them train more agricultural extension officers to educate farmers on good farming practices to boost productivity.

He said research carried out by Actionaid in November 2011 revealed that farmers in rural areas had not met agricultural extension officers for 10 years and that meant the number of officers has reduced or they were not available.

Dr. Ahadzi said the research established that two percent of women farmers had never met extension officers and 12 percent of men farmers had access to extension officers.

Dr. Ahadzi said the government was not abiding by the Maputo declaration that impinged on African countries to allocate 10 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to agriculture.

He said in the 2011 budget the government allocated a paltry 2.8 percent of GDP to agriculture while the Ministry of Agriculture only devoted 0.4 percent to women in agriculture.

Source: GNA

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