GNAFF inaugurates sub-committee to strengthen grassroots structures

FishermenThe Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen (GNAFF) on Tuesday inaugurated a 10-member sub-committee to strategise to strengthen regional and district structures of the association.

The sub-committee, chaired by Mr Terkpertey Mensah, was also tasked to identify problem areas, develop strategies, and take stock of assets and liabilities of the association country-wide and advise the GNAFF.

The committee, which was to submit its report within six months, was also tasked to review the current Constitution of the Association and plan towards a National Congress as well.

Alhaji Salifu Ziblim, a representative from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), who inaugurated the committee urged members to work hard to justify the trust reposed in them.

He said farmers’ groups had a big role to play to position them effectively “in this era of mechanised agriculture”.

He said the survival of farmers’ organisations depended on how they organised themselves because there were currently lots of sprinter groups and urged them to collaborate with each other to lessen the work of the Ministry.

Alhaji Ziblim emphasized the need for all farmers’ organisations to unite to ensure food security in the country.

“We cannot industrialize or modernize if the farmer groups are not united. We need to unite to contribute effectively to the growth of the economy,” he said.

In a speech read for him, Mr Billy Joe Nayong, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, said the rebirth of GNAFF was good news to the Ministry.

He said MOFA attached importance to farmer-based organizations and urged them to re-structure their activities to make it more attractive to entice the sprinter groups springing up.

“I also want to urge you to collaborate with other sprinter groups within the Ministry to have a common platform to enhance the lots of their members and also ensure food security.

“We encourage you to unite and operate harmoniously among yourselves and not rivalry,” he said.

Mr Bismark Doku Nettey, Former GNAFF President, said the current trend of multiple groups within the country was gradually weakening the farmers and fishermen front and that defeated the purpose of forming GNAFF.

He, therefore, called on the sector Ministry to assist GNAFF as a constitutionally recognised body in unifying farmers and fishermen.

He said there was the need for the Ministry to discourage that unfortunate anomaly for GNAFF to attain structural strength and viability of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union.

Nai Kwao Otuo, Interim President of GNAFF, said the Association was formed in 1993 and had since been proactive through the years in addressing issues on the farmers’ front through stakeholder participation in workshops and representation on boards, commissions and committees.

He mentioned leadership and financial constraints as some of the challenges that GNAFF faced in the past.

He, therefore, called for unity of purpose among all farmers and fishermen and urged all award winners and other farmers’ groups to join the GNAFF.

“It is my vision to see a strong and vibrant GNAFF with unlimited capacity to support farmers and fishermen and improve agricultural production and reduce poverty within the farmers and fishermen communities,” he added.

Mr Mensah, on behalf of the committee members, thanked the GNAFF for the confidence reposed in them and pledged to work hard to meet the tasks.

Mr Ignatius Agbo, 2011 National Best Farmer, who is also a member of the sub-committee, said the task was a very important national assignment would give a good name to the association.

“The whole of Ghana is watching us to put things right and make GNAFF a formidable one,” he said.

Source: GNA

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