The overall best farmer for the 2021 Farmers Day held in Cape Coast, Central Region, Alhaji Mohammed Mashud, has appealed to the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to reduce the price of fertiliser for farmers in the country.
According to Alhaji Mashud, there are many farmers in the northern sector of the country who cannot still afford the price even though the product has been subsidized.
He said another issue has to do with the distribution and the time the products arrive, the season would have been over.
The national best farmer was speaking during Dr Akoto Owusu Afriyiie’s visit to the Northern Region on Monday.
The visit formed part of the minister’s tour of the northern sector to interact with farmers and also take into consideration their comments to enable the ministry work towards achieving growth in the sector.
The Farm Manager of Coudjoe Abimash, which is the farm of national best farmer, Mr. Osman Abdulai said through the Savannah Zone Agricultural Productivity Improvement Project (SAPID), technical advice was offered to the over 250 holder farmers to improve yield.
Mr Abdulai said Alhaji Mashud gained national recognition because of the combination of modern technology, application of chemicals such as fertilisers and others.
He said the national best farmer has 2000 hectares of maize farms, 1500 hectares of soya beans farms, 5000 hectares of rice farms, poultry farms, cattle, fishery farm and processed rice and poultry meat for export.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie, speaking to the media after visiting the farms of the national best farmer, said both SAPID and Savannah Investment Programme (SIP) were just two to three years old since their introduction to farmers but have begun to double productions, adding that when the programme reach its peak, Ghana will fully reap its full benefit.
He said the policies being implemented by the NPP government have the potential of making Ghana one of the leading countries of food production in the world.
“This is just the beginning of the programmes in the northern sector and by the time we extend the project to the whole Ghana to reach all farmers, productivity will quadruple,” the minister stated.
He added that the ministry of agriculture was implementing five major programmes; Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Dame, Building of Warehouses, Tree Crop Development Programme and the implementation of both SAPID and SIP.
De Owusu Afriyie said these programmes have come to improve and boost production, especially the Tree Crop Development, which is aimed at departing from the mainly depended cocoa economy, adding that warehouses were to store surplus food to beat the seasonal crop shortage.
The tour took the minister to Yumzaa Shea Butter Company where he assured them of government’s support to depart from the era of using manpower for production to a modern and scientific way of doing work.
Dr Owusu Afriyie also said through the tree crop development programme, the women will no longer walk in the busy harvesting wild trees for shea butter but rather develop a scientific way of planting the seedlings of the product in the five northern regions.
The Chief Executive Officer of Yumzaa Shea Butter Company, Mrs. Zakaria Adam P. Laceera, appealed to the minister to control the price of the product than living it in the hands of middlemen who buy it cheap from the women and sell it on a high price.
Mrs. Laceera again called on the minister to intervene by helping them to get access to credit facilities and appealed for a compost processing machine to enable them turn the by-product to compost for the farmers.
The tour of the minister will continue Tuesday, December 7, 2021, as he will meet the various stakeholders in the agriculture ministry.