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Inadequate extension services said to be affecting Ghana’s agric output

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farmer_1The inadequacy of agricultural extension agents compared to the number of farmers is said to be affecting effective agricultural productivity in the country.

The current agricultural extension agents’ ratio to the number of farmer, which stands at 1:1500, is described as woefully discouraging to the country’s efforts at making any meaningful headway in agricultural development.

Further worsening the situation is government’s moratorium on employment of agricultural extension agents to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) even though there is need for or vacancy to employ them.

These came up at a forum on Policy Review on Extension Services in the country organized jointly by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) and SEND-Ghana in Tamale on Thursday.

The forum brought together representatives from MoFA, public and private agricultural extension agents, and NGOs from the three northern regions to discuss as well as recommend ways to review the country’s Extension Services Policy.

Mr Mohammed Adam Nashiru, President of PFAG, said the inadequacy of agricultural extension agents was affecting the quality of farm procedures being adopted by farmers as some could not apply agro-chemicals and seeds in their right quantities.

Mr Nashiru said the situation was making farmers worse-off as most of them could not break-even after production.

A presentation on the status of agricultural extension agents to number of farmers in the country revealed that the agents did not also have the equipment to facilitate their work.

Some of the participants, who are farmers, also complained of having to bear the cost of securing the services of agricultural extension agents in the form of fueling their (agents) motorbikes amongst other honorarium to enable them visit their farms.

Mr Nashiru, therefore, called for urgent steps to reverse the trend.

Mr Charles Nyaaba, Programmes Officer of PFAG, said similar forum would be held in the middle and southern sectors of the country to collate inputs to finalize a report to influence the review of the country’s Extension Services Policy.

Source: GNA

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