Posted: Friday 18th April 2014 at 17:36 pm

Farmers demand investment in agric extension services

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Smallholder farmers across the country have appealed to the government to increase funding for agricultural extension services in the country.

They said improvement in agricultural extension services arising out of increment in funding to the sub sector would enable them increase their productivity and, consequently their income.

Mr Charles Nyaaba, the Proggramme Officer of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), said investment in agric extension would not only lead to improved agricultural productivity, but also ensure food security and enhanced living conditions for farmers.

Mr Nyaaba was speaking at an advocacy programme being implemented jointly by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) and SEND-GHANA.

The programme was aimed at drawing the government’s attention to the huge gap between the number of agricultural extension officers in the country and the number of farmers they had to serve and the need for government to increase funding for agricultural extension services in the country.

Statistics on the country’s farmer/extension officer ratio show that 1,300 farmers are assigned to one extension officer, a situation that makes it practically impossible for many farmers to benefit from the services of extension officers.

He said the situation had been compounded by the fact that extension officers were under-resourced in terms of logistics to enable them to visit the farms.

Mr Nyaaba said laudable government projects like fertiliser and input subsidies would  not yield the desired benefit if agric extension agents, who served as a link between the ministry and farmers, were not effectively deployed.

The number of farmers, he said, was an “elephant load” for the limited number of extension officers.“You and I know very well that even if you are a robot, with this kind of load you cannot perform,” he stressed.

Speaking on the same programme, Mr. Daniel Adotey, the Programme Officer in charge of Trade and Agriculture at SEND-GHANA, called for collaboration among stakeholders to improve smallholder farmers’access to extension services in the country.

The role of extension services to farmers’ access to information and the application of new technology had been acclaimed globally, with farmers having access to such services.  he said.

Mr Adotey said, the importance of Agricultural extension in influencing productivity in the business of farming could not be overemphasised. He called on government and for that matter, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to recognise agricultural extension services as strategic investment, because even if land, water, seeds, production inputs, capital and technology were made available, uninformed, untrained, ill-advised smallholder farmers would not efficiently and productively use them.

Increment in funding to the sub sector would enable them increase their productivity and consequently, their income.

Mr Charles Nyaaba, the Proggramme Officer of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), said investment in agric extension would not only lead to improved agricultural productivity, but also ensure food security and enhanced living conditions for farmers.

Mr Nyaaba was speaking at an advocacy programme being implemented jointly by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) and SEND-GHANA.

The programme is aimed at drawing government’s attention to the huge gap between the number of agricultural extension officers in the country and the number of farmers they have to serve and the need for government to increase funding for agricultural extension services in the country.

Statistics on the country’s farmer/extension officer ratio show that 1,300 farmers are assigned to one extension officer, a situation that makes it practically impossible for many farmers to benefit from the services of extension officers.

He said the situation had been compounded by the fact that extension officers were under-resourced in terms of logistics to enable them to visit the farms.

Mr Nyaaba said laudable government projects like fertiliser and input subsidies would not yield the desired benefits if agric extension agents, who served as a link between the ministry and farmers, were not effectively deployed.

The number of farmers, he said, was an “elephant load” for the limited number of extension officers.“You and I know very well that even if you are a robot, with this kind of load you cannot perform,” he stressed.

Speaking on the same programme, Mr. Daniel Adotey, the Programme Officer in charge of Trade and Agriculture at SEND-GHANA, called for collaboration among stakeholders to improve smallholder farmers’access to extension services in the country.

The role of extension services to farmers’ access to information and the application of new technology have been acclaimed globally, with farmers having access to such services, he said.

Mr Adotey said, the importance of Agricultural extension in influencing productivity in the business of farming could not be overemphasised.He called on government and for that matter ,the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to recognise agricultural extension services as strategic investment because even if land, water, seeds, production inputs, capital and technology were made available, uninformed, untrained, ill-advised smallholder farmers could not efficiently and productively use them.

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