Peasant farmers call for review of agric strategies

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has called for a review of the implementation strategies of various government initiatives in the agriculture sector.

It mentioned the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), One Village One Dam, Rearing for Food and Jobs among others, which were exerting financial strain on the sector.

The President of PFAG, Mr Weipa Addo Awal Adugwala, who disclosed these in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra, yesterday, said a review of the initiatives would help address the challenges facing farmers.

According to him, the importation of fertiliser, which was the only subsidy given to farmers has had serious implication on cost of production, thereby, reducing the ability to produce as expected.

Mr Adugwala said “The COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukraine war and the soaring cost of petroleum products have led to drastic spikes in prices of improved seeds, fertiliser and other production inputs.”

He said instead of government importing fertilisers and relying on other companies thus increasing the cost of price, it could establish a plant to produce more organic fertilisers to enable farmers become self-reliance.

Mr Adugwala explained that the One Village One Dam initiative was also not well structured since government did not engage many stakeholders hence making the initiative not yielding the needed result.

“Farmers cannot continue to rely on rainy season due to climate change which will likely lead to food insecurity,” he added.

He expressed worry about the country’s economic challenges, which had adverse effect on agriculture productivity posing a serious threat to food security.

“We are sad and disappointed with the government’s posture and unsatisfactory measures to lift us out of the current challenges,” Mr Adugwala said.

He said farmers were faced with increasing prices of inputs and machinery, which was not only reducing yields but also putting members out of business.

“It will surprise you to note that our crop budget for an acre of maize, which used to be around GH¢1,700 in 2021, has jumped to an unbelievable GH¢5,000 for this planting season,”Mr Adugwala said.

He said the government’s inability to address those challenges was partly due to improper diagnosing of the problem facing peasant farmers in the country.

Mr Adugwala called for an emergency stakeholder meeting to review the implementation strategy of the various government initiatives, which was not responding to the needs of the country.

“The PFAG is ready and willing to engage government and other stakeholders to find lasting and sustainable solutions to this challenge,” Mr Adugwala stated.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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