Techiman (B/A), May 17, GNA – Mr. Mohammed

Adam Nashiru, National President of the Peasant Farmers Association of

Ghana (PFAG) has called for the commitment of politicians to agricultural

transformation to improve the livelihood of peasant farmers.
He said research had shown that there were communities in the northern

part  of the country suffering from abject poverty, hunger and malnutrition

“just because they are small-scale farmers without governmental support”.
Mr. Nashiru was addressing a zonal consultative meeting on farmers

manifesto read on his behalf by Mr. Charles Nyaabaa, programmes officer

of the Association in Techiman.
The meeting, jointly organised by the PFAG and OXFAM GB – Ghana,

an NGO, was attended by 60 small-scale farmers in the municipality.
It was aimed at brainstorming over the manifestoes of the various

political parties, particularly as applicable to small-scale farmers.
Mr. Nashiru noted that the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

report of 2008 indicated that about 963 million people, representing nearly

15 per cent of the world’s population, were not well fed.
He indicated that the numerous international expert predictions of hunger

and food crisis in view of climate change, population increase and shrinking

access to farm land, as well as conflicts in most sub-Sahara Africa, were

enough to suggest to political leadership in Ghana to adopt policies that

would bring about a  sharp transformation in the agricultural sector .
Mr. Nashiru noted that small-scale or peasant farmers were the poorest in the

country due to challenges that hampered their progress.
Insecure and fragmented land holding, high cost of inputs, declining soil

fertility, low access to financial services, high interest rates, market

liberalization and removal of subsidies, are some challenges that confront

peasant farmers in the country, he said.
The PFAG President appealed to supporters of political parties, and

Ghanaians in general to exercise restraint before, during and after the

December 7 elections.
Mr. Samuel Boadum, Techiman Municipal Chief Technical Officer of

the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), appealed to the government to

ensure graduates of Agricultural Institutes were employed in the Agricultural

Extension Division of the Ministry to boost staff strength.
Madam Victoria Adongo, Programmes Coordinator of PFAG in a

presentation, said about 1,300 farmers were being managed by one

extension officer, which she said was not the best in the farming industry.
She noted that peasant farmers and co-operative bodies were very important

in agricultural transformation and must be supported to increase

production, enhance profitability and gain access to inputs, fertilizer and

modern equipment.
The programmes co-ordinator stressed the need for the creation of

opportunities for private investments in the agricultural commodity value

Nana Kwao Adams, executive director of Abrono Farming Project

(ABOFAP) noted the high dependence on expensive inputs and

conventional farming methods adopted by small scale farmers, which he

said hampered their development.
Mr. Charles Ampofo, Project Officer of ABOFAP stated that small-scale

farmers constituted about 70 per cent of the country’s population and called

on the government to help build their capacities.


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