Farmers worked on Farmers’ Day – Chief Farmer

The Chief Farmer of the Twifo Praso District in the Central Region, Samuel Adu-Gyamfi in an interview with Alfred Ocansey on the 3FM Sunrise Morning Show has outlined some of the key challenges confronting farmers which needed the urgent intervention of government and major stakeholders.

According to him, most of the farmers are peasant farmers who are battling with high cost of labour and inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, weedicides, seedlings and other farming implements as well as bad roads which have made some of the farms not accessible thereby hindering the marketing of farm produce.

He mentioned that though the day is supposed to be Farmers’ Day which is a national holiday, almost all farmers have gone to their farms. “Hardly will you see a single farmer staying at home; everybody has gone to farm. They should stay home for what? Farmers are complaining bitterly” Mr. Adu-Gyamfi stated.

“Before you are able to produce a bunch of plantain, it takes nine to twelve months and look at the high cost of labour. How many bunches of plantain will you have to harvest before you get GHC 1000 or GHC 2000 from your plantain farm to take care of your family? A peasant farmer harvests about twenty bunches of plantain, cassava for middle men to come and buy them extremely cheap because of poor roads and lack of access to the market” the chief farmer bemoaned

The Chief Farmer who is also a retired Agriculture Extension Officer expressed worry over how governments and policy makers have not paid attention to the grievances of farmers to proffer appropriate solutions to them but rather formulate policies from above without or with less inputs of the farmers who are on the grounds.

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Mr. Adu-Gyamfi further implored the government to implement a policy to offer guaranteed prices for farm produce and establish buffer stocks at all local levels in order to help sustain their business as well ensure food security and create employment.

He explained that continues cropping on most farmlands have rendered them less fertile which has reduced the potential yields that should be gotten from an acre hence requires more fertilizer application but however, the prices of fertilizers have increased astronomically in recent times.

“We need affordable fertilizers, and inputs like agro-chemicals must be readily available at the local level for use at affordable and stable price to control weeds and pets. Despite the fact that you have the right seeds and input materials, if your farm is weedy, you will not have enough yields as supposed” he stated.

A 43 years old Nana Yaw Sarpong Siribour from Asante Juaben has adjudged the National Best Farmer for the year 2022 at the National Farmers Day event that took place in Koforidua in the Eastern Region and was replicated across the regions and districts on December 2, 2022, under the theme: “Accelerating Agricultural Development through value addition”.

By Samuel Afriyie Owusu||Ghana