Deputy Minister of Agriculture tours flooded farms in Upper East

By
Godfred A. Polkuu, GNA

Bolgatanga, Sept. 12, GNA – Dr Sagre Bambangi,
Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of Annual Crops, has visited some farm
lands in the Upper East Region to assess the impact of the flood caused by
recent rains and spillage from the Bagre dam.

The Deputy Minister visited farmers at Doba,
Bonia and Tono all in the Kassena–Nankana Municipality, Pwalugu in the Talensi
District.

Dr Bambangi at each of the communities
interacted with the farmers who expressed worry about the devastation on their
food crops and used the opportunity to appeal to President Nana Addo Dankwa
Akuffo-Addo to come to their aid.

At Doba, Mr Edward Ajoba Binini, Landlord of
the Gayiago and Agayia communities in the area, said “the extent of damage is
serious, because rice farms were destroyed, beans destroyed, groundnuts planted
along the riverside were all destroyed.”

He appealed to government to support them with
boreholes and fence to help them farm during the dry season, because the flood
has destroyed their crops.

Mr Binini said without the needed help the
youth would be discouraged and perhaps migrate to southern Ghana.

Mr James Adawina, Chairman of the Tono
Irrigation Cooperation Farmers Union, expressed gratitude to Dr Akoto Osei
Afriyie, the Minister of Agriculture, for assisting them with fertilizer to
improve on agricultural activities in the area and called on government to help
them access loans from banks to support their efforts.

He attributed the current situation to late
land preparation owing to lack of farm equipment, adding that if farmers in the
area had the needed equipment, they would have started farming activities much
earlier.

The situation was not different when Dr
Bambangi and his team visited Pwalugu in the Talensi District where several
acres of maize and groundnuts among other farms products were destroyed.

Mr Francis Ennor, the Upper East Regional
Director of Agriculture, said farm lands in all 15 Districts in the Region were
flooded.

He said rice, beans, maize, groundnuts,
millet, sorghum and cowpea were some of the crops destroyed, and from the nine
Districts, an estimated area of 954.4 hectors of rice farms, 4598 hectors of
maize, 490.4 hectors of sorghum, 212 hectors of millet farms, 791 hectors of
groundnuts farms, 208 hectors of cowpea were completely destroyed by the flood.

Mr Ennor said 6, 226 farmers in 65 communities
within the nine districts were affected as many of them farmed closer to river
banks.

“They normally take the opportunity to plant
early, so that by the time the floods come, they would have harvested.
Unfortunately, this year’s the rains came heavily and the opening of the Bugre
Dam affected them,” he said.

The Director said even though the destruction
was massive, it would not affect food security in the region because about 40
percent of food crops were destroyed.

Addressing the press after his tour, Dr
Bambangi, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Walewale Constituency,
said apart from the reports the Ministry received from various Districts and
Regional Directors of Agriculture, “we want to observe some of the fields for
ourselves so that together with our technical men, we can submit relevant
reports to the Honourable Minister for Food and Agriculture.”

He urged the farmers not to be discouraged and
assured them of the Ministry’s support.

GNA

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