Expedite action on construction of warehouse – Crop farmers

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture

Crop farmers in the Tano South District of the Brong-Ahafo Region have made a passionate appeal for the government to expedite action on the construction of warehouses across the country.

 

This they said would reduce post-harvest losses and a situation where farmers were hastening to sell produce like maize and rice at non-competitive prices due to the non-existence of proper storage facilities.

 

The government has pledged to construct at least one warehouse in every district. The move is incorporated in the implementation of ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme.

 

The farmers made the call when officials of the Brong-Ahafo Region Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) toured some ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ in farms in the Tano South.

A 59-year-old maize farmer at Derma, Isaiah Nsiah Bediako, said his farm yield increased significantly as compared to previous years’, attributing the production increase to improved inputs received under the programme.

 

“Last year I harvested ten bags of 100kg on my five-acre farm but with the improved seeds and fertiliser supplied by government, I got about 20 bags on just an acre farm in the major season,” he disclosed.

 

The farmer was however worried about non availability of proper storage facility, thus compelling him sell at a cheaper price of GH¢80 per bag.

 

He lamented that the prevailing situation defeats government’s dream of enhancing farmers’ profitability with the introduction of the programme, hence the need for quick intervention.

 

On his part, Issah Apraku, a rice farmer at Owen-Nkwanta also testified to increase in production, thanks to improved inputs supplied by the government to farmers coupled with consistent best agronomic teachings by agricultural extension agents (AEAs).

 

The rice farmer expressed concern about the ‘short-change’ trading style by the market women, claiming farmers still remain price takers irrespective of production cost.

 

In response, Dr. Cyril Quist, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of MoFA revealed that government had taken inventory of existing warehouses and in the soonest time rehabilitation would start before equipping them with dryers.

 

He said 25,000 farmers were registered under the programme in the region but about 4,500 farmers subscribed to it during the major farming season, adding that more farmers were expected to subscribe in the minor season.

 

He explained that some of the inputs came in late, hence many farmers’ inability to hook onto the programme in the major season.

FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, DERM

 

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