The National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana (NFFAWAG) under the leadership of Mr. Davies Narh Korboe, the 2009 National Best Farmer has on last Wednesday paid a courtesy visit to the president of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo to discuss and share thoughts on potential areas of cooperation between the association and government.
Other farmer groups present were; SPEG, PAMPEG, VEPEG, GAVEX, Peasant farmer, concerned farmers, Yilo Krobo Mango Farmers.
Speaking to Rite FM at the Flagstaff House, Mr. Dan Ahmed Saka, (Technical Adviser) of NFFAWAG disclosed that farmers in the country constitute about 60 per cent of the population and moreover; contributes 50 per cent of job creation to the country’s development.
According to him, award winning farmers are always left out in planning Agricultural policies for the country. He further added that, for over decade, government has shut its doors on farmers for the implementation of farmer needs policies like fertilizer subsidy.
“Government planners over the past ten years have neglected farmers who are on the ground in making policies pertaining to the agric sector. Among them are the fertilizer subsidies, mechanization, introduction of new varieties of seed and others,” Mr. Ahmed Saka noted.
“The groups decided to pay this call on the president to strengthen relationship with the current government, and deliberate on how farmers will be involved in the policies of the Agric Sector. We appealed to you, Mr President, to direct the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to officially include our members, the Peasant Farmers Association, GNAFF and other relevant Farmer Based Organizations in the Task Force that has been set up to track and ensure that the fertilizer does indeed reach farmers,” he further said.
Meanwhile, the speech delivered by Chairman Davies Korboe to the president has it that, farmers in the country are not pleased with the way government auctioned tractors were sold.
“Most of the tractors under the government subsidy programme fail to reach the farmers due to the policy of outright payment. This opens the door for highly-placed non-farmers to acquire the tractors at the expense of actual farmers and food production. Hitherto, farmers were required to pay for the tractors by installments. We would be grateful if this ineffective policy of outright payment could be revisited, the statement said.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo has assured the farmers, he will use the Ministry of Agric and Fisheries to always bring together all farmers across the country to help boost the sector. According to the President, Government will create means for farmers to communicate their challenges to the central government.
Source: Joyce Bedeley/ritefmonline.org