UE/R: Deputy Agric minister tours flood-affected farms

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Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture in Charge of Annual Crops, Dr. Sagre Bambangi Monday toured flood-affected areas in the Upper East Region to assess the level of damage to crops.

Over ten thousand farm fields in the region have been inundated by floods following torrential rains, coupled with the opening of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso.  Major crops such as maize, millet, groundnuts and sorghums have been destroyed in the affected areas.

Speaking to some affected farmers at Doba in the Kassena Nankana Municipality, Dr. Bambangi said the damage to crops in the region has the potential to affect government’s plan to improve food security in the country.

According to him, the government has invested so much in the agriculture sector to ensure not only food security but also a way o

“We [government] have tried a lot to invest in agriculture because we know that if we have to move forward in this country, then we must move on agriculture. Unfortunately, after putting in all these investments, we have been hit by a number of disasters. Last year, it was some draught as well as the armyworms and year; the unpleasant floods have also hit us.” He recounted bitterly.

He said when the sector minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, recently toured the region, he was impressed with what farmers in the region were there with government’s investment especially the flagship Planting for Food and Jobs Programme.

Dr. Bambangi said: “Immediately he returned to Accra, then we started hearing news of torrential rains and the Bagre Dam opening or spillage, and then the news that we heard later, in fact, we even saw some of the pictures and videos on television and we were not happy. So, recognising the fact that your farmers are the foundations for us to move on in this country, the Honourable Minister for Food and Agriculture thinks we cannot sit back in Accra, we cannot just look at the pictures and then wait to take a policy on it. So, we think I should come around with my team so that we can have at least, a practical view of it, we can experience it ourselves and then we can go back and give him a report so that he can also send that report to government.”

The deputy minister who was accompanied by Upper East Regional Dircetor of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Francis Ennor, also visited Tono Irrigation Dam Project near Navrongo. The project is managed by the Irrigation Company or Upper Region (ICOUR).

Chairman of Tono Irrigation Corporation Farmers Union, Chief James Adawina, appealed to the government and financial institutions to support farmers with loans to invest in their activities.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1FM|Ghana|Joshua Asaah

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