Food security remains a challenge on Eastern Corridor – Report

RiceAchieving food security in the Eastern Corridor remains a challenge as smallholder farmers battle with low access to extension and tractor services, storage and market facilities including inadequate policy and institutional support.

This was part of the issues identified in a report conducted last year by SEND – Ghana in eight districts including Chereponi, East Gonja, Nanumba North, Nanumba South, Saboba, Zabzugu and Tatale-Sangule, which are located along the country’s Eastern Corridor.

The report dubbed: “Closing Funding Gaps in Agriculture: Implications for Food Security in Rural Ghana”, was launched in Tamale on Tuesday.

It formed part of the Food Security through Cooperatives in Northern Ghana (FOSTERING) project funded by the Government of Canada and implemented by the Canadian Cooperative Association with SEND – Ghana and the Credit Union Association as local partners.

The report assessed policy initiatives and funding saying a number of initiatives have been rolled out to boost agricultural production in the districts but the implementation of those initiatives was hampered by inadequate resources and gender inequity in resource allocation.

It said provision of tractor services was largely done by private sector operators who were profit-minded and, therefore, targeted commercial farmers or large acres of farms and this affected many women farmers who required tractor services.

The report recommended that district assemblies and departments of agriculture should involve farmers in their review meetings to make inputs to improve their productivity.

It recommended that government invest more in agriculture to address challenges of infrastructure, storage facilities and dams to support farming.

It also recommended that government encourage students to opt for agricultural related courses at tertiary level and employ them directly after studies as done with the health and education sectors.

Mr Bright Demordzi, Vice-Chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, called for proper training of volunteer extension workers to improve the extension services sector for improved agricultural production.

Mr Demordzi urged district assemblies to ensure local economic development by promoting agricultural production through effective funding.

Mr Siapha Kamara, Chief Executive Officer of SEND – West Africa, said the report highlighted fundamental challenges inherent in the country’s agricultural strategy and called on district assemblies to prioritize agriculture in their development initiatives.

Source: GNA

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