The Atiwa East Agriculture Department has held its annual performance review session at Anyinam to evaluate successes achieved and challenges encountered in 2019.
Mr Samuel Ofosu, the District Agriculture Director, said although there were hitches in parts of their activities, they were able to make significant headway in terms of services to farmers across the area.
A total of 963 farmers benefitted from the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Programme, while 2,665 maize and 3,000 rice seedlings were freely distributed.
Added to that were pepper, tomatoes, and lettuce, cabbage, cucumber and onion seedlings. Aside the seedlings, he said, the Department also supplied beneficiaries of the PFJ Programme with fertilisers.
The district received a total of 1,900 kilograms of NPK and 300 kilograms of Urea. Mr Ofosu said the government’s Special Rice Initiative (SRI) Programme also saw massive patronage – 97 farmers benefitted from the scheme, adding, they were continuing to register more farmers.
In excess of 118 farmers are benefitting from the government’s ‘Rearing for Food and Jobs’ (RFJ) programme.
The district received 1,118 animals for distribution to the farmers in 13 communities. Mr Ofosu touched on the ‘Planting for Export and Rural Development’ (PERD) and said 4,000 cocoa seedlings were freely supplied to 300 farmers under the programme.
The department has deployed new technologies including the use of drones to farms and an organic based agro chemical known as ‘AV5055’ to boost crop production.
The new technologies were introduced by a group of researchers and businessmen.
He expressed worry about lack of ready market for farmers, late arrival of subsidised inputs for the PFJ and inadequate extension officers. These, he said needed to be tackled to grow the area’s agriculture. GNA