The Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA), a newly formed professional media body, would be inauguration on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at Fumesua in the Ashanti Region.
The association has the overarching purpose of mobilising journalists and media organisations interested in agricultural, environmental and rural development issues to share ideas and contribute to the development of those sectors.
A statement issued and jointly signed by Ernest Kofi Adu and Richmond Frimpong, General Secretary and President of GARDJA respectively, said Professor Amin Alhassan, the Dean of Agribusiness and Communication Sciences Faculty of the University for Development Studies (UDS), would deliver the keynote address.
The event, on the theme: “Improving Agricultural Financing for the Smallholder Farmer in Ghana,” provides an opportunity for the nation to learn about ways to reduce poverty and improve agricultural production.
“We are thrilled to offer the platform for discussions on agricultural issues because Ghana’s economy remains agrarian in nature, employing more than 44 per cent of the working population,” the statement said.
It said despite this, agriculture was still characterised by the use of very simple traditional tools for production which accounted for the low level productivity in the sector.
“Production is also at the vagaries of the weather, which means the food crop sector relies on rainfall alone aside being a large scale peasant farming.
“Our food crop farmers often face the problems of price instability and poor marketing of their farm produce. There is also an absence of guaranteed price that creates instability in the income of farmers,” the statement said.
It is on the basis of these problems, among a myriad of challenges, that in the mid-2014 the members decided to formalise the network of journalists interested in agricultural issues by registering it into an association to help sharpen the skills of media practitioners for this kind of specialty.
This is, therefore, aimed at supporting the journalists to inform the public about the need to give special attention to agriculture to be used as the springboard for economic freedom.