Mr. Ibrahim Akalbila, the Coordinator of the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition has appealed to the government to give the needed attention to female farmers to enable them have adequate access to farm input to improve productivity.

He said female farmers had the potential of improving productivity if they had access to credit facilities, mechanisation services and inputs among others as their male counterparts.

Addressing the media during a press conference to disseminate the 2016 Agro-Policy Performance Barometer (APPB) and Agro Barometer Index (ABI)reports in Wa, Mr. Akalbila stated that there was the need for the government to generate a database of farmers in the country in order to target and support female farmers.

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The dissemination of the report in the Greater Accra, Brong Ahafo and Upper West Regions which formed part of activities of GTLC to influence government and private sector policies towards the agricultural sector was supported by the Christian Aid.

He further explained that female small holder farmers had demonstrated proven skills in farming and were more sufficient in the use of farm inputs and other resources to increase productivity.

Mr. Akalbila decried the high cost of ploughing as well as farm inputs such as fertilizer and chemicals among others which had deterred farmers from cultivating large fields to increase food production to help ensure sustainable food security and reduce poverty among small holder farmers.

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He also observed that in as much as farmers invested on their farms, poor agronomic practices, lack of improved seeds as well as improper land preparation among others served as barriers to high crop yield.

He lamented government’s low investment in the agricultural sector and said only 51 percent of the 2016 budget for the sector was disbursed, which he noted could not help meet government’s vision of improving suitable productivity in the sector.
Mr. Emmanuel Wullingdool, the Policy Officer of GTLC indicated that the coalition provided farmers with mechanisation services and capacity building in their quest to help farmers improve production.

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He also added that the coalition assisted small holder farmers to establish Village Savings and Loans to help them have access to credit to invest on their farms to increase productivity.

The report which focused on the objectives of the Medium-Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) project such as ensuring food security and increased productivity centred on tomato, maize and rice production in nine farming communities in the Upper West, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern and Volta regions.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh