Farmers have been urged to adopt good agricultural practices, appropriate agro-chemicals for increased sustainable productivity.
Also, they should use the appropriate planting materials that will make their work easy and ensure good yields.
Mr. Richard Segdem of Adidome Farm Institute, said this at a three-day training programme for some selected farmers in the Ketu North District of the Volta Region.
It was on the theme ‘Improving productivity and produce quality of small holder farmers through GAP training’.
The programme was organized by Maphlix Trust Farms in collaboration with German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) with the support of Adidome Farm Institute at Tadzewu to educate farmers on the Orange Flesh Sweet Potato developed by Savanna Agricultural Research Institute.
He explained that good agricultural practices make the work of the farmer easier, reduce cost and avoid labour work.
They should also seek advice from extension officers and adopt the use of technology in their farming activities to improve on their productivity.
Mr. Segdem said adopting new technologies and modern agronomic practices is the only way to increase food production and ensure food security for the increasing population.
Managing Director of Maphlix Trust Farms, Mr. Felix Kamassah said that, the objective was to beef up the number of out-growers to be able to produce enough to feed the potato consumers and ensure they are armed with the relevant and appropriate agricultural methods.
“Our target is to train 400 smallholder farmers by the end of our workshop so they can meet set targets in terms of yields,” he said.
After the training, Maphlix Farms would supply the farmers with the requisite planting material, as well as extend other services like tractor and equipment services to them. When the crops are due for harvesting the company buys from the farmers for onward export.
Mr. Kamassah revealed that, there was a huge international market for Sweet Potato and that they are preparing themselves for all opportunities within the value chain
“Orange Flesh Sweet Potato has Vitamin A benefits in it, which is very good for children especially with the provision of free food to the children in government schools and I believe this is one of the best meals to serve; this is the time for the government to invest more into the Potato sector by providing smallholder farmers with irrigation systems and equipment’s for processing it into finished products” he added.
Madam Florence Keleku a Sweet Potato farmer at Tsinea expressed concern about their inability to get loans from the Banks in the country to expand their farms and urged the banks and government to do something about that.
Others also appealed to the law enforcement agencies to arrest people who are selling fake agrochemicals to farmers in rural communities.