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Resource NAFCO adequately – Peasant farmers tell government

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cassavaThe Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has called on government to adequately resource the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) to enable it to perform its functions.

Mr Mohammed Adam Nashiru, President of PFAG who made the call at a sensitization forum on the operations of NAFCO in Tamale on Thursday, said this would ensure food security as well as improve incomes and livelihood of farmers.

The forum, which brought together small-holder farmers and officials of NAFCO from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, was to share findings of an on-going research by PFAG into the operations of NAFCO as well as collate further inputs to update the study.

PFAG hopes to conclude the research by next year and present it to government as basis to revamp the operations of NAFCO to alleviate the plight of especially small-holder farmers.

Mr Nashiru said the NAFCO concept was laudable but challenges such as inadequate funds and warehouse facilities had rendered it ineffective thereby making farmers to continue to encounter post-harvest losses.

NAFCO, which is under the Ministry Food and Agriculture, is tasked to mop up excess farm produce, store it and only release it when there is shortage to ensure a stable market price.

Mr Nashiru also appealed to farmers to produce their crops according to specifications to meet the requirements of NAFCO to earn a good price.

Mr Charles Nyaaba, Programmes Officer of PFAG who presented preliminary findings of the research, said NAFCO’s warehouse capacity could only cater for 3.3 per cent of total maize produced in the country.

Mr Nyaaba said there was also high variability between prices offered by NAFCO and the prevailing market prices.

Mr Nurudeen Abdul-Rahman, Northern Regional Quality Control Officer of NAFCO, said NAFCO faced challenges of inadequate warehouses, resources and funds accounting for low purchase of farm produce.

Mr Abdul-Rahman said NAFCO was exploring partnerships with private investors to help it put up adequate infrastructure to ensure efficiency in its operations for the benefit of farmers.

Source: GNA

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