Miss Hilda Huadji, an extension officer with the Wawase operational area in the Lower Manya Municipality in the eastern region has agreed with the proposal that the government employ more female extension officers to do the job of working with farmers.
In an interview with Rite News, Miss Hilda said that the low level of education with our women accounts for most of them ending up as farmers and traders. This she said results in what she called farm families and therefore the need for more female extension officers to work with the farmers.
She recounted a personal experience where her life was threatened by the wife of a farmer she was working with who suspected her of engaging in an amorous relationship with her husband.
Miss Hilda lamented that a lot of school graduates in agric extension remain unemployed because there are no ready jobs. She said that previously, graduates were posted to operational areas right from school but these days they are required to put in applications formally applying for the jobs which they don’t get anyway.
She was of great appreciation to the Mobilization Action towards Agricultural Sector Improvement (MAASI) seminar which according to her has really enlightened her into learning several skills she previously did not have. However, she suggested that a lot more days are dedicated to the seminar since the two days were greatly inadequate to grasp all the issues.
She said that now that the extension officers are under the district assemblies, she expects their budgets for their various programs to be prompt and timely as well as them looking forward to any additional support from the district assemblies.
She revealed that transport allowances to work in their various operational areas have not been forthcoming since the beginning of the year, adding that they can’t rely on their scanty salaries to transport themselves to these areas which are usually very remote.
Miss Hilda called on farmers to join registered farmer based organizations for the effective and prompt resolution of their concerns. She said farmers should come to the terms to the fact that farming is now more advanced and therefore they should adjust accordingly. She advised that it’s when they present their problems as a unified front that they get government to listen.
She advised further that they need not pull out of these organizations when the expected financial benefits are not coming adding that the expected knowledge they stand to acquire is more valuable than the money.