Poor roads causing post-harvest losses in Nabdam Dist — Farmers

Parts of the deplorable nature of the roads linking the farmlands to the Zanlerigu market

Parts of the deplorable nature of the roads linking the farmlands to the Zanlerigu market

Poor roads linking farms and market centres have been identified as major causes of post-harvest losses in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region.

The Zanlerigu Langube Development Association (ZALDA), a smallholder farmer-based organisation, made the assertion at a press conference here on Saturday.

The farmers, numbering about 1,215, majority of whom are women, said as result of post-harvest losses, they were unable to pay for loans they contract from their bankers for farming of crops such as tomatoes, pepper, okro, maize and rice, among others, putting most of them out of business.

Mr Maxwell Divorm, spokesperson and secretary of the group, said through support from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund, the organisation undertook advocacy programmes and got the Nabdam District Assembly to complete the construction of an irrigation dam facility in the area.

He said this led to the empowerment of many people in the community and its environs, particularly women and the youth, to venture into farming to earn a living, adding that “this helped in discouraging them from migrating to the southern parts of the country to search for non-existent jobs.

Mr Divorm said the continued deplorable nature of the roads had compelled some of the people to abandon farming, making it very unbearable for most of the community members to be able to fend for their families.

‘’The amount of money and revenue being lost to individuals and government on daily basis as a result of the appalling nature of the roads is unimaginable. This is because the Zanlerigu market attracts traders from some far away communities like Bolgatanga, Kayonga, Nangodi, Pelungu and Zaurungu,” he said.

Mr Divorm, therefore, called on the district assembly and the department of feeder roads in the district to intervene and address the bottlenecks.

One of the women farmers, Ms Helen Tong, said apart from the deplorable nature of the road affecting farm produce, it was also affecting the education and the health sectors as many school children and teachers, including sick people, particularly pregnant women in the area could not attend school and health facilities anytime it rained heavily.

The assemblyman for the Zanlerigu–Dalga electoral area, William Dag-bama, who is also the presiding member of the assembly, commended the BUSAC Fund for supporting the ZALDA to undertake the advocacy programme.

He, however, admonished the group to eschew violence when holding meetings with the assembly to express their concerns, saying that “advocacy goes with tact and diplomacy.”

The private consultant of the BUSAC Fund, Ernest Bayuo Aayel, encouraged the group never to give up in advocating for issues affecting them, adding that “it takes more time to make a positive change in advocacy work.”FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, ZANLERIGU

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