farmers
farmers

Mr Abu, who was among 17 other award winners, had been in the farming business for the past 21 years obtained his knowledge and skills from his late father.

For his prize, he took away a tricycle and other farming inputs.

Mr Issahaku Nuhu-Putiaha, Wa Municipal Chief Executive, said government had invested massively in the agricultural sector in its bid improve food production and incomes of farmers.

He said government was also using agriculture to provide sustainable employment opportunities for the youth to produce more for domestic consumption and for export.

Mr Nuhu-Putiaha said government has invested GHC 347.2 million of the 2015 budget in intervention policies such as the Fertilizer Subsidy Programme, Agricultural Mechanisation Services, the Youth in Agriculture and the Block Farming Programme.

Others were the Northern Rural Growth Programme, which had facilitated the development of rural roads to link to farming communities and markets, the Livestock and Fisheries Development Programme, the Irrigation and Mechanisation of Systems Development, the Rice Sector Support Programme and the Free Agricultural Extension Services.

The Municipal Chief Executive urged the youth to take advantage of government’s interventions to turn their fortunes around.

He announced that with the collaboration between the Wa Municipal Assembly and its development partners, such as USAID, the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation and the Agence Francaise De Development, agricultural performance had improved in the municipality.

He said the Veterinary, Animal Husbandry and the Crop Extension Officers have carried out livestock vaccination against diseases, treatment of livestock against minor ailments, and established crop and livestock demonstrations and organised Field Days, home and farm visits.

Pests and disease surveillance was also put in place and 15,879 livestock, 12,348 birds, 2,700 cattle, 380 sheep and goats and 531 pets were vaccinated against various diseases.

Mr Nuhu-Putiaha said seven technologies were disseminated to 60,000 farmers to help them increase their crop yields and about 337 hectares out of 773 hectares of developed rice valleys were cropped with about 179 farmers benefiting from the interventions.

Sixty farmers based organisations were linked to various credit institutions to access credit to enhance their farming activities under the Northern Rural Growth Programme.

Mr Nuhu-Putiaha said a total of 26,312 bags of NPK and 8,950 bags of Urea fertilizers were distributed to farmers in the Wa Municipality during the cropping season this year.

He said as a result of the various interventions, crop production in the Wa Municipality was expected to increase by 20 per cent while livestock production would also increase by 15 per cent at the end of the farming season.

Naa Ali Pelpuo, Paramount Chief of the Busa Traditional Area, expressed disappointment that many farmers were still depending on hoes and cutlasses to do their farming activities and this he said had resulted in the cultivation of few acreages.

He appealed to government to invest more resources in the agricultural sector, especially provision of tractors, harvesters and planters as well as fertilizers at affordable prices to enable farmers to undertake large-scale farming to produce more for home consumption and for export.

Naa Pelpuo said post-harvest losses was still a challenge among farmers in the area and appealed to agricultural extension officers to address it while helping to expand the Busa Dam to improve large scale vegetable production.

The Busa-Naa appealed to government to release lands on the defunct Animal Husbandry Project to the Busa Traditional Council to enable the Council to use it for development purposes.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh

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