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The Northern Region is to receive 120 new Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) to assist farmers in their farming activities to help boost agricultural production, Mr Yussif Ahmed, Regional Agric Officer in-charge of Crops, has said.

Photo taken on Nov. 26, 2015 shows a truck loaded with sacks of agricultural produce along the muddy Sironko-Mbale road at Bugusege trading centre, eastern Uganda. As a country where over 80% of the population relies on agriculture, the Uganda government is prioritizing growth of infrastructure to economically viable areas to ease access to the markets. (Xinhua/Daniel Edyegu)

He said the recruitment of the new 120 AEAs was in line with the government’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ policy aimed at boosting agricultural production whiles offering jobs to the unemployed in the country.

Mr Ahmed announced this during the opening of a two-day Agricultural Policy Learning and Sharing Fair held at Tamale.

It was organised by the Agricultural Advisory Services Network of Ghana (AASN-Ghana) which is hosted by the Business and Development Consultancy Centre (BADECC) based in Tamale.

The Fair, supported by United States Agency for International Development through Africa Lead, was held to enhance the capacity of stakeholders in the agricultural sector to demand improved extension services from duty bearers through awareness creation and knowledge sharing.

Participants were also trained on advocacy issues in the extension services sector.

Mr Ahmed said government had also put in place measures to buy produce from farmers as well as strengthen the Buffer Stock Company to address post-harvest losses.

Mr Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, urged stakeholders to develop an interest in the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ policy to help improve agricultural production in the region.

Mr Yakubu Balma Issaka, an Agricultural Expert, who undertook a study on the impact of government policies on extension services, called for resourcing of AEAs to enable them to effectively carry out their duties.

Mrs Cecilia Addae, Manager in-charge of Training and non-state actors at Africa Lead, called on stakeholders to work hard to ensure food security in the country.

Chief Issahaku Jesiwuni, Chief Executive Officer of BADECC, said AASN-Ghana would continue to advocate for improved extension services delivery in the region to boost agricultural production.