Participants at a zonal multi-stakeholder conference on Planting for Food and Jobs programme (PFJ) in Tamale have called on government to establish agricultural mechanization centres in districts to provide essential services to farmers.
They said late land preparation and failure to supply farm inputs on time has been the bane of agricultural production arguing that the establishment of agricultural mechanization centres in the districts would help address such challenges for increased productivity.
The conference was organized by SEND – Ghana, a civil society organization (CSO), to facilitate stakeholders’ review of the implementation of the PFJ and share experiences as well as make recommendations for improvement in the delivery of the PFJ.
The conference formed part of the Oxfam GB funded programme titled: “Promoting Food Security and Agricultural Governance in Ghana,” which aims at contributing towards a food secure country by influencing the government to invest in supporting smallholder farmers and securing their land rights.
Participants included farmers groups as well as women farmers, seed producers, researchers and civil society organizations.
Participants decried the erratic nature of rainfall in the northern sector and its effects on farming and expressed the need for irrigation and other water conservation methods to support agricultural production in the area.
They also called for timely supply of adequate and quality inputs at all levels to ensure planting on time for maximum results.
Participants said women should be given priority during registration of beneficiaries for the PFJ to enhance their access to the programme.
They also called for collaboration between government and CSOs as well as allocation of funds for sensitizations on the programme to ensure success.
Alhaji Issahaku Mahama, President of the Northern Regional branch of Seed Producers Association of Ghana, urged government to promptly pay seed producers for the seeds they supplied under the PFJ to promote their business.
Mr Mumuni Mohammed, Team Leader of SEND – Ghana in the Northern Region, said the concerns raised at the conference would be presented to the government to fine-tune the PFJ to promote agricultural production in the country.