Member of Parliament for the Shai Osudoku constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Hon Linda Akweley Ocloo has lauded Rite FM for its 1 District, 1 Rite FM Aric Forum (RAF) initiative.
The Hon MP who was speaking at the second edition of the program at Asutsuare on Friday expressed optimism that the event if sustained has the potential of enlightening farmers in the district on ways to improve on their farming activities.
Hon Ocloo who is a Member of Parliament’s Agric Sub-committee said her office was actively championing the interests of farmers in Shai Osudoku through the provision of several interventions.
“I’m already supporting the cause of farmers in the district including championing chemical distribution for farmers, ploughing of farms at subsidized rates and the establishment of a Cooperative Union to grant loans to people including farmers,” she disclosed.
Tens of participants on Friday turned up for the second edition of Rite FM’s flagship program, 1 District, 1 RAF (Rite FM Agric Forum).
The participants made up of various stakeholders including the Member of Parliament for Shai Osudoku, Hon Linda Akweley Ocloo, Farmer-based organizations, FBOs, Agric students of the Osudoku Senior High School, District Directors of Agric, Insurance Brokers and other stakeholders in the agric value chain turned up for the forum.
The forum which was held at the conference hall of the Kpong Irrigation Sheme was aimed at creating a conducive platform for providing the grounds for relevant inputs for the development of agriculture in the Shai Osu district.
Impressive presentations were made by key individuals in the areas of records keeping, district agric policies, flash talks on agric mechanization, farmers’ pension scheme, etc.
Director of Extensions at the Shai Osu Department of Agriculture, Mr. Jonathan Nartey who spoke at the forum noted that purchasing imported maize hybrid seeds remain the only guarantee for farmers to access subsidized fertilizer.
According to Mr. Nartey, purchasing of the maize seeds from government has become is the only surety and guarantee of farmers accessing credible and high yielding seeds.
Explaining the rationale behind this policy, the Agric Director said the move was to ensure that farmers buy quality seeds for their farming activities.
The Director of Extensions noted that most farmers recycled seeds for replanting, a practice which affected the value of the seeds and reduced its potency and hence the need for the farmers to buy the quality seeds from government which has high yielding properties.
Speaking on the need for farmers to keep records of their farming activities, Miss Tracy Sarfoah who is a Farm Manager at Farm Management Services Limited (FMSL) underscored the need for farmers to adopt record keeping as a key requirement of their farming activities.
The practice, she stressed was an important step towards improving on farmers’ farming practices, arguing that obsolete farming methods are now a thing of the past.
Miss Tracy added that farming was now a business and not the ‘ordinary activity’ it was known for in the past.
On his part, District Director of Crops for Shai Osudoku, Mr. Alfred Clottey observed that unlike the miserable stories of most of Ghana’s farmers, , farmers were the richest people elsewhere.
He however urged that the necessary steps be taken to add value to the lives of farmers in the country. In all, a number of stakeholders from the sector including leaders of Farmer-Based Organizations, (FBOs), business-minded farmers and various stakeholders partook in the one day event.
The one district, one RAF program is an offshoot of the Rite FM Agric Forum which targets farmers from six surrounding districts including Yilo Krobo, Shai Osudoku, Manya Krobo, Upper Manya, Asuogyaman and Akuapim North.