Gov’t Urged To Support Small-Holder Farmers

Mr James Zuuga Tiigah (5)A Platform of Upper East Regional civil society organisations (CSOs) in agriculture has challenged the government to implement agricultural policies that will inure to the benefit of small holder farmers.

The CSO platform met in Bolgatanga to deliberate on challenges militating against performance of small holder farmers, food security and ways to push the agricultural agenda for the country forward.

The meeting was organised by SEND Ghana, an advocacy organisation, in collaboration with Trade Aid Integrated.

Ms. Nana Aisha Moham-med, Project Officer of SEND Ghana, said the platform provided CSOs in agriculture the opportunity to highlight agricultural issues and how they affected small holder farmers.

She said the regional CSOs’ engagement would articulate concerns that would help them to remove the bottlenecks and as a regional focus work towards improving smallholder farmer performance.

She said the government’s budget allocation to agriculture was inadequate, and could not enhance performance,  stating that the concerns at the forum would feed into a national policy advocacy to push the agenda for the implementation of Ghana’s agricultural policies to benefit farmers.

She expressed appreciation of the government’s implementation of subsidies on fertiliser, among others, and said it was beneficial to farmers, adding that the current situation of its total absence was a great dis-service to farmers.

Ms. Aisha said the distribution of such fetiliser support to farmers was lopsided in growth and coverage, and where it was available, needed to spread to cover a wider number of beneficiaries.

Mr. Nickolas Apokera, Director, Trade Aid Integra-ted, was concerned about  the knowledge gap between farmers and stakeholders, and said though a lot was happening in terms of policy implementation,  people in communities were unaware or had little information.

He hoped that the regional platform on agricultural policy would get policy holders to respond to the challenges raised.—GNA

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