The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, has urged government to ensure an early start of its Agricultural program dubbed, “Planting for Food and Jobs”. The program when in full operation will offer farmers the opportunity to buy farm inputs such as seeds and fertilizer at half of the subsidized price and then pay the remaining half after harvest.
If this arrangement goes through, farmers will not be under pressure to use all their monies to buy inputs, since they will only have to pay portion of the subsidised price for bags of fertilizer and other inputs.
Speaking in a telephone interview with A1 News, President of the Association, Abdul-Rahaman Mohammed said, though it is a laudable program, the late start of the program was a disadvantage to some farmers who planned to go into sorghum cropping.
This according to him, has forced some farmers to snub sorghum faming, since they could not afford the seeds from the open market. He is however hopeful that, the program will help farmers in the coming year, even if they do not benefit so much this year.
“The sorghum seeds under the “Planting for food and jobs” could not come in time, but some farmers were able to buy their own seeds to plant, but we engaged government to give us the fertilizer to apply to our sorghum farms and that is what is happening.”
He added that this year, farming in general is good because of the Planting for Food and Jobs program since farmers have easy access to fertilizer.
“Next year, government should plan early and let the seeds come before the fertilizer, government should make seeds available on time by April because, the season starts in the three regions in the North by May-June, so that farmers can start preparing themselves and waiting for the fertilizer. We do not need fertilizer before seeds.” He cautioned.
Mr Abdul-Rahaman observed that, farming this year has not started on a good note for some farmers because of the army worm invasion of farms in some parts of the country. This according to him, has caused some losses to some farmers, who had to clear their farms to replant, due to the army worm invasion.
He also cautioned farmers to be vigilant regarding the army worm and report immediately to the Agric Officers.
“I want to advise farmers to concentrate on their farms and also the worms. They have not gone yet. I will advise that, when you see a sign, you should quickly go and report and ensure that, you get your farm sprayed.” He added.
Source: a1radioonline.com/Cletus Adugbire