The Northern Region Farmers Union has called on government to strengthen the national, regional and district Technical Committees for planting for food and jobs for effective implementation of the program.
The region which is predominantly agriculture base produces 60 percent of the country's food needs and in view of this farmers in the region cannot afford to allow this opportunity slip by, hence their support for the program for food and income security.
Farmers, especially peasant farmers in the region are also convinced that the coming into being of the "One Dam One village, One district one factory" policies are laudable initiatives that will further boost agriculture in the region.
The initiatives the farmers believe will improve the living conditions of the people, increase rural livelihoods and reduce the rural-urban migration which is a serious problem in this part of the country.
The farmers expressed these views when the union paid a courtesy call on the northern regional minister Salifu Saeed at the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) in Tamale to present their problems through him to the President.
While commending government for the laudable initiatives to boost agriculture in Ghana, the union drew the attention of government to some of the immediate challenges facing farmers in the region.
According to the union there are large stocks of about twenty thousand metric tonnes (20,000 MT) of paddy rice locked up in the hands of farmers across the region that need immediate market to enable them prepare for the planting season.
These quantities of rice the union noted could not be sold as a result of unrealistic demands from processors and aggregators. They are therefore of the view that government should buy the stock to supplement the school feeding program, hospitals and security services.
In order to avert future recurrence of this challenge, the union has appealed to government to make available the recommended varieties of rice for farmers in the region. The union further expressed their profound gratitude to His Excellency the President for his current initiative on Planting for Food and Jobs to boost agriculture in Ghana.
Mr. Mohammed Adam Nashiru is the chairman of the union.
Responding to the challenges of the farmers the northern regional minister Salifu Sa-eed assured them of government readiness to move the country forward most especially in the sector of agriculture. Agriculture the minister stated, is the back bone of the country’s economy hence the need for government to invest in the sector. The Minister further noted that if agriculture is taken seriously in the region the menace of kayayei will be a thing of the past.
By: Lilian D. Walter