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Access to extension services still a challenge for rural farmers – GTLC

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The Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) is worried that if access to agriculture extension services, among other things, is not extended to rural farmers, there’s going to be a continuous gap in the food needed in the country and the food produced by the farmers. 

Ibrahim Akalbila, the Executive Director for GTLC, shared these concerns in connection to availability and prices of food in some parts of the country. The aforementioned factors had resulted in the setting up of a PFJ Market Centre in Accra, the national capital. 

The open air market centres are expected to ensure that food products that are available and cheap in some areas of the country are carted and sold in other parts of the country by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture at highly reduced costs. 

Mr. Akalbila, speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, Monday, November 14, 2022 described the programme as a complete failure of policy. He explained that the Ministry should rather focus on enhancing the pillars of the PFJ; one of which is the expanded access to extension services.

“There are issues we know have bedevilled PFJ. The E-agriculture has not even taken off anyway. Most of our farmers do not even know it is happening. Extension is still a challenge. What we heard is that some 2,000 graduates have been employed to provide extensions services but what we know on the ground is that there is still a huge challenge with regard to access.” 

“Basically, if these ideas worked, the way they should have, the Ministry would not have been doing what it is doing currently,” he said. 

Mr. Akalbila stressed that the government must reconsider the dictates of the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana programme and build on the same to ensure that food produced in the country is plentiful and affordable. 

Additionally, the Ministry is being called upon to enhance the market linkages system. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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