Champion Living Incomes For Farmers – Media Told

Abubakar Afful addressing the media

Fairtrade
Africa, a global movement seeking to address injustices
of conventional trade, has urged media practitioners in the country to lead the
campaign to make living incomes for farmers a reality.

Programme
Team Leader of Fairtrade, Abubakar Afful, who made the call, said “this is to
help ensure that farmers who are dedicated to producing valuable crops get
decent standard of living from their earnings in order to guarantee sustainable
yields and improve farm efficiency.”

Addressing
the media at a capacity building workshop for journalists in Kumasi, he stated
that paying farmers a sustainable price for their crops would help smallholder
farmers break the poverty circle and bring prosperity to rural communities.

He
defined a living income as sufficient income to afford a decent standard of
living for all household members, including a nutritious diet, clean water,
decent housing, education, healthcare and other essential needs plus “a little
extra for emergencies and savings” once farm costs are covered.

“Smallholder
farmers have virtually no control over global market prices and weak to
non-existent negotiating power, thereby being at the mercy of price volatility
and the goodwill of their market partners,” the Fairtrade officer noted.

According
to him, in times of oversupply and market speculation, commodity prices tend to
fall below the cost of production to the extent that farmers cannot break even,
intimating that such developments have disastrous consequences on livelihoods
of farmers and the long-term sustainability of supply.

“When
farmers are trapped in poverty, they can’t afford to invest in more efficient
or productive farming methods to improve their incomes. They can’t pay their
workers a decent wage, or worse, they may resort to using children for cheap
labour,” Mr. Afful pointed out.

From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi

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