The Founder and President of Millar Open University, Professor David Millar, has called on the government to formulate and implement policies intentionally supporting and furthering dry-season farming in the Upper East Region.
Speaking with A1 Radio’s Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show on Thursday, December 7, 2023, Professor Millar explained that even without deliberate government support and policies, dry-season farmers are already productive and growing their incomes. He suggested that with increased government support in this area, the work and livelihoods of dry-season farmers could be enhanced.
“For the rainy season, I don’t think they [farmers] are doing much. I measure productivity. But for the dry season, they actually go for productivity. Those in the gardens now measure their costs, skills, investments, and everything else. They target the market and produce. There, you can see farmers are doing well, especially considering the fact that they are doing this largely on their own. Agriculture support systems are largely not there. The farmers’ own organizations and support systems are strong. They are making efforts to maximize productivity.”
Professor Millar argued that water resources should be better enhanced in the Upper East Region to improve dry-season farming. He contended that the One Village One Dam policy was not well thought through, as renovating existing dams would have served farmers better. Additionally, instead of dams in all communities, the funds should have been pooled to create larger dams.
“In the Upper East Region, if you really want to emphasize agriculture, then you really need to work on the dams, the water for the dry season farms. There, with the little input from MOFA, the farmers themselves pick it and run. They would organize all the resources. Now, they are even organizing the markets,” he said.
Furthermore, Professor Millar called on policymakers to consider localized agricultural policies for the various regions, policies that understand local nuances rather than national policies that treat all farmers and their needs across the country as equal.
Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana