Gov’t ignored extension service in 2016 budget – PFAG



Business News of Thursday, 24 December 2015

Source: GNA

Cover Woman FarmerFile photo

Mr Charles Nyaba, Programme Officer, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), says Government has ignored extension service in the 2016 budget.

He said Government could have made provision for recruitment of extension officers, even though there was a claim of ban on employment to bridge the extension farmer ratio gap.

Mr Nyaba was speaking at a budget analysis programme for the agriculture sector in Accra.

“Investment in warehousing for farmers is missing in the budget this year compared to other years,” he said.

Mr Nyaba said the 2016 budget statement was not smallholder friendly and non-beneficial per their analysis and called on Government to increase more investments in the mechanisation services.

He commended Government for allocating resources for irrigation and also for resources for the fertilizer and seed subsidy for farmers.

Mr Nyaba called on Government to address the delay of these subsidies from reaching farmers on time to enable them plant and produce more yields.

He said there was the need for Government to create the enabling environment for farmers to keep producing to feed the nation.

Ms Aisha Mohammed, Programme Officer, SEND-Ghana, said analysis of the budget revealed that donor support for the agriculture sector has declined and it was a worrying situation.

She called on Government to re-target its investment in the sector and state clearly, which of the budget allocations were for feeder roads.

Dr Ishmael Ackah, the Head of Policy Unit and Energy Policy Advisor at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, urged Government to provide solar panels on irrigation projects to support farmers in time of electricity cuts.

He said the Annual Budget Funding Amount should be well targeted to benefit the agriculture sector to produce more food.

Dr Steve Manteaw, the Coordinator, Oil and Gas Platform, said Government should identify priority areas in the sector that would improve the growth of the economy.

“The country is not thinking and acting sustainably to move the fortunes of the sector,” he said, “oil will vanish but agriculture will continue to be with us”.

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