By Richard Dankwah:
The President of Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Mr. Mohammed Abdul Raman has made a passionate call to the government to as a matter of urgency, find a way of supporting farmers who fell victims of the scams of some microfinance companies such as DKM, God Is Love, Diamond Winners and as a result lost huge sums of monies to, a situation blamable on the negligence of the Bank of Ghana.
Mr. Raman who was speaking at the launch of a project dubbed ‘Sustainable Farming And Political Participation Of Small Scale Farmers In Decision Making In Ghana’ by the Peasant Framers Association of Ghana (PFAG) in collaboration with the African Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (ACCAI) and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness of the University of Ghana at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region, blamed the Bank of Ghana for failing to play their role of monitoring all these microfinance companies ensuring that they meet the required standard to operate as Bank.
According to him, these monies are needed by farmers to carry out their farming activities effectively but it is rather unfortunate that the farmers cannot access it now.
Meanwhile, opening the event, Mr. Raman in his welcome statement mentioned the issue of agricultural extension services which he noted was a service challenge to agricultural modernization as farmers relied on extension officers for guidance and new information.
He appealed to government to as a matter of urgency remove the embargo on recruitment of agricultural extension officers and also support the sector with resources for them to carry out their work effectively.
He said the current imposition of 20% tax on imports including agro equipment is another challenge adding that already farmers found it difficult accessing the services of these equipment and an additional tax will worsen their situation.
He therefore appealed to government to support peasant farmers with resources for the effective implementation of the agro ecology farm, as a demonstration centre for training of farmers and also called on government to allocate some subsidized tractors to the PFAG so that they can provide mechanization services to our members at a subsidize prices.
The launch of the project was supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa(OSIWA).