Mr. Iddrisu Yahya, 2012 best farmer for Tano North District in Brong Ahafo Region, has called on government to master the political will and construct irrigation dams throughout the 10 regions of Ghana, to ensure sustainable food supply.
He said successive governments had lacked the political will to construct sufficient irrigation dams to enhance all year smallholder farming.
Mr Yahya said these in an interview on the expectation of the President Mahama’s regime, with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Friday.
He noted that despite the fact that smallholder farming was a source of food supply to many people, and employment to the youth, the rural poor farmer had not been adequately assisted to increase production.
Mr Yahya stressed that the Mahama administration should initiate measures to make farming more attractive, particularly to the youth, by creating buffer stocks to absorb excess food supply, to guarantee stable price.
He said “the rural farmer engages in yam, maize, cassava, pepper, garden eggs, pineapple, tomato, beans, onion and plantain production, to feed the urban rich, yet the support extended to the farmer, for example, in the form of agrochemicals and fertilizers supply is woefully inadequate.”
Mr. Yahya expressed worry that fertilizers meant for farmers, usually arrive when the farming season had elapsed.
He, however, commended the government for ensuring the removal of fake agrochemicals from the market, but said such measures must not be a nine-day wonder, to guarantee genuine supply of chemicals to farmers.
Mr. Yahya, who undertakes farming in palm oil tree, coconut, teak, mango, cocoa, maize, pepper and also supplies fish and butter nut squash, advised the youth to venture into agriculture.
He said food production and sustainability is so vital to national growth and development that the “Mahama’s administration can fail in all other sectors, but not in agriculture”.