Invest in agriculture extensions – Peasant farmers

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has called on government to invest in new Agriculture extension approaches to bridge the extension farmer ratio gap of one to 1,500.

The Association said these approaches could be in the form of using mobile phones and other information and communication technologies to deliver extension messages to smallholder farmers.

Mr. Daniel Adotey, Programme Officer in charge of Agriculture and Trade at SEND-Ghana, said this at a-day’s sensitization workshop on policy review on Agriculture extension service in Ghana.

The event, organised jointly by PFAG and SEND-GHANA, was to review the state of Agriculture extension services in Ghana on its project titled “Investing in Extension Services to achieve the CAADP objectives in Ghana”.

The overall objective of the Project is to ensure that the implementation of the Agricultural Extension Policy, supports smallholder farmers, particularly, women farmers in Ghana in a way that contributes to the realization of the strategic goals in the comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme.

It is also to demand increased investment in Agricultural Extension Services and the efficient implementation of the Agricultural Extension Policy in Ghana.

He urged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to develop standards and guidelines for the implementation of extension services for all actors within the agricultural development sphere.

He said one major challenge to the growth of agriculture in the country is the incidence of inadequate access to quality extension services to help improve the productivity and increase the income of smallholder farmers.

“Poor access to extension services has led to poor agronomic practices, post-harvest management, inefficient use of inputs, over use of pesticides, low adaptive capacity for use of research and technology and other information that could help increase productivity,” he added.

Mr Adotey said it is important for Government to provide logistics for field staff to train, monitor and participate in agriculture extension programmes.

He said Government needs to collaborate with the private sector in the delivery of Agriculture extension services.

“Agriculture Extension services should facilitate access to credit for small scale farmers to ensure them taking advantage of existing and new technological innovations,” he added.

Source: GNA

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