PFAG, SEND-Ghana launch agriculture project

farmer_1A two-year project aimed at enhancing investment in agriculture extension services, towards the attainment of goals of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme in Ghana, was launched in Accra on Thursday.

It is also to ensure that the implementation of the agricultural extension policy benefits smallholder farmers, particularly women farmers in the country.

The project, jointly launched by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) and SEND-Ghana, a non-governmental organization, is also to ensure the realisation of the goals of the Programme and the medium term agricultural sector investment plan.

Mr. Daniel Adotey, Programme Officer in charge of Agriculture and Trade at SEND-Ghana, said the project funded by Trust Africa, an advocacy institution, sought to strengthen African initiatives that seeks to address the most difficult challenges confronting the continent.

He said the project would demand increased investment in agricultural extension services and efficient implementation of agricultural extension programmes in Ghana.

“Specific demands for gender and geographical equity in agriculture programming regarding the provision of extension services and resource allocation will be made on government,” Mr Adotey said.

He said the project would address issues on post-harvest management and inadequate knowledge in the use of improved seedlings and fertiliser.

Mr Adotey said the inadequate human resources and operational deficiencies in providing public extension services was a threat to the full achievement of the objectives of the Food and Agricultural Sector Development Programme.

He said the current farmer extension officer ratio stands at one officer to 1,300 farmers.

Mr Adotey said the inadequate number of extension officers had led to poor agronomic practices, post-harvest management, inefficient use of inputs, over use of pesticides adaptive capacity for use of research.

Mohammed Adam Nashiru, National President of PFAG, called on Government to expand agriculture training institutions, to increase intake to train more extension officers.

He said extension officers were faced with challenges, including lack of incentives especially, for those working in deprived communities.

Nashiru urged Government to address challenges of the extension officers to enable them to support farmers to increase food production.

Source: GNA

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