FARMERS NEED OUR SUPPORT TO FEED THE NATION

THEY may represent a small number of farmers in the country but the appeal made by Irrigation farmers in the Keta Municipality for special low electricity tariff to enhance their operations to benefit the broader national interest must be speaking the minds of majority of farmers in the country.

The farmers operating at the South Eastern part of the country, about 50 of them irrigate their farms at Anloga, Keta, Dzita and Anyanui, using electricity to power their machines.

In their view, high electricity tariff was hampering their activities, and, therefore, appealed to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), and government for special low electricity tariff.

Not only that, they also want a quarterly arrangement for payment of their bills to make it more flexible for the smooth running of crop production.

For these farmers who produce vegetables all year round, the cost of energy is very huge and the only way they can continue to produce and create employment is to be assisted with special low electricity tariff.

Indeed, these group of farmers are not the only ones facing huge energy cost in farming and for that matter agriculture.

Many farmers across the nation are facing similar situations and need help.

As a matter of fact, to make farming attractive to the youth, and to attract investment agriculture, energy cost is an area that must be looked at critically.

Fortunately, the government has a deliberate policy of Planting for Food and Jobs, that is geared towards increasing agricultural production and creating jobs.

This programme is also intended to support farmers to increase yields and there are visible signs that the programme is yielding results.

However, more can be achieved if the farmers across the country are supported to reduce their energy cost through low tariff.

After all, the government through its social intervention policies supported different sectors of society by providing tax reduction for them.

Agriculture and for that matter farming is a very important sector which contributes to national development.

As a nation, we cannot sweep the concerns of the actors in the sector under the carpet. We urge the government and the PURC to as a matter of urgency address the concerns of the farmers.

They need the intervention to produce more food at a less cost to make farming in general lucrative and sustainable.

That way, the youth would be encouraged to go into farming, knowing that it is profitable.

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