Business News of Saturday, 7 October 2017
About 23,000 registered farmers to the government subsidy programme benefited from the 460,000 bags of fertiliser provided by Yara Ghana for planting food and jobs programmes in the country.
While a total of 10,000 were allocated to certain farmers, 13,000 were also for government fertiliser subsidy beneficiaries that have led to increase of yields in the country for this year’s planting season.
The Northern Regional Director of Yara Ghana, Mr. Mahama Abdul Rahaman, disclosed this to the B&FT after a panel discussion to address perennial issues affecting development in the District Assemblies was held in Tamale.
The forum formed part of activities at the recent 17th National Food and Agricultural (FAGRO) show held in Tamale to provide a platform for the District Agric Directors, Regional Agric Directors and civil society to discuss how each district is shaping up to take advantage of the government flagship programme “planting for food and jobs” initiative and its impact on community livelihoods in the districts.
It was also to educate the public on efforts of the Assemblies and the measures put in place to sustain the programme to alleviate poverty in the rural areas of Ghana.
He said the initiative has boosted business activities in the country, with imports of fertiliser organisations increasing from 17 to 20.
He stressed that about 200,000 farmers have benefitted from Yara products, while more than one million farmers who love Yara crop nutrition programmes are constrained due to government’s restriction.
Speaking at the forum, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Mion Mohammed Hashim Abdullah said over 13,000 bags of fertiliser were received, with about 800 farmers benefitting from the subsidised fertiliser.
He said the support has helped most farmers to harvest enough farm produce to feed their families.
The Savelugu-Nanton Municipal Chief Executive, Hajia Ayishetu Seidu, said there is need for the patrons of the school feeding programmes to purchase local farm produce to prepare food for schoolchildren; saying the local products have nutritional value.
According to her, this would help the farmers to expand their farms and produce more to feed the nation.
She said there is a need for Assemblies to allocate some amount for constructing warehouses to store the farmers’ produce.
The Municipal Chief Executive of Sagnarigu, Mariam Iddrisu, stressed the need for constructing road networks to attract more vehicles for conveying the produce from farms to alleviate the burden on farmers.
She said the school feeding programme has increased enrolment in her district, hence the need to sustain it long-term.
She also encouraged the small-scale enterprises, processors and aggregators to ensure producing quality products that meets the market’s demand.
The Kpandai district director of Agriculture, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Adam, reiterated government’s commitment to making agriculture more lucrative and attractive for the youth to venture into.
He said when the local rice is polished well to meet the public’s preference (although it is more healthy to eat the unpolished), it will reduce importation of similar products.