Prang (B/E), Dec.22, GNA – Leguminous farmers in the Pru West District of the Bono East Region have appealed to the government to support them with incentives to increase production and enhance their livelihoods.
They said the supply of quality seeds, subsidized fertilizers, tractors and other inputs, would help them to expand their farms, increase yields per acre and thereby, improve their incomes and livelihoods.
The farmers, who were mostly from Yaw Pare, Zabrama, Prang, Ankrakurase and Buom and are mainly into the cultivation of groundnuts and cowpeas, made the call through the Ghana News Agency, during a farmers’ field trip organized by the Crop Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The field trip was to enable the research scientists and agricultural extension officers to engage the farmers in the management of cowpea pests and groundnut seed multiplication techniques, which was being implemented in some demonstration fields in the district.
Baba Latif Adam, one of the farmers, told the GNA that the production of these legumes in larger quantities was helping to boost agricultural production and the country’s economy, sustaining households and creating employment opportunities for many people.
“When we are provided with what we need, we can produce more year after year, my pockets will be okay to cater for my wards and other family members,” he stated.
Mr Adama Boye, also a farmer, said if the tractors for ploughing the fields for cultivation were made easily available to them, it would reduce the high cost of renting from private business people.
The farmers, however, expressed appreciation to the research scientists and extension officers for exposing them to best practices that were meant to increase yields.
As part of the engagement, the farmers were educated on some practices including avoidance of multiple mixtures of chemicals/pesticides to be applied on their crops.
This practice could affect the chemical’s strength to fight against diseases.
They were told to resort to the application of chemicals only when they detected infestation of disease on their crops.
Dr Sylvester Addy, Head, Division of Legumes at CRI, told the GNA that the Institute saw the need to help the farmers to deal with rosette disease, which affected groundnut mostly, hindered productivity and complete loss of fields to the disease.
He said the CRI had supplied the farmers with two varieties – “Dehyie” and “Yenyawoso” to help counter problems they were facing.
These varieties are high yielding, early maturing and disease resistant.
Dr Addy advised the farmers to adopt good agronomic practices, adding that selection of quality viable seeds was essential in crop production.
He expressed the hope that the education received by the farmers would promote positive impacts on their production in the next crop seasons.