The Ghana Agriculture and Rural Development Journalists Association, GARDJA, has congratulated all farmers and fishers as well as all the players in the value chain for their unwavering commitment to the national food security and agricultural agenda, despite the many challenging factors undermining their efforts.
A statement jointly signed by the National President, Richmond Frempong and the General Secretary, Ernest Kofi Adu, and issued to the media in Kumasi on the eve of the 32nd National Farmers’ Day.
GARDJA noted that Ghanaians do not need to be retold the importance of the Day, which is in recognition and appreciation of the exceptional contribution of farmers to national development through the production of food to feed the people.
GARDJA acknowledges with serious reservation, what it describes as government’s consistent rhetoric towards its commitment to the growth of the Agric sector in recent times.
According to the statement, despite the determination of farmers to agric production, their businesses are challenged by difficult access to credit facilities, inadequate marketing opportunities to dispose off their produce leading to high level of post-harvest losses, pest and disease infestation, unfriendly land tenure practices, over reliance on manual labour, the use of antiquated production practices as well as high cost of production.
Aside from these, government has since 2014, not lived up to its promise of making fertilizer readily available to the farmers.
It noted for instance that, only half of the budgeted quantity of fertilizer in 2014 and 2015 were made available to the farmers, with the situation not being any different this year.
GARDJA has again noted with regret that there has not been any official information explaining what has led to such situations, while the National Fertilizer policy has not made any provision for the supply of phosphate to particularly farmers in the Upper West region, where their land is very much deficient of such important soil nutrient required for the production of sorghum and millet.
In all these circumstances, GARDJA noted with satisfaction that the country’s farmers and fishers are still determined to produce more to feed their families and the nation.