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25.03.2009 Editorial

Our farmers need support

By

FOLLOWING PERSISTENT calls by rice farmers in the Upper East Region for a combined harvester to boost rice production in the area, the Ministry of Agriculture has committed itself to providing the farmers with one. The Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi made this known to the staff of Irrigation Company of Upper East Region (ICOUR), and some beneficiary farmers of the Tono irrigation project, at Tono, near Navrongo recently.

The Minister, who was on a working visit to the region told farmers and staff of the irrigation project that government was securing combined harvester to ease the stress they go through during rice harvesting. Contrary to modern day practice, our gallant farmers still use archaic methods of farming. They still use cutlasses and hoes to plough the land.

As a result of this our farmers are unable to embark upon large-scale farming to feed the nation and get surplus for export. The Chronicle is, therefore, happy that the Minister of Agriculture has promised to give the combined harvester to farmers in the Upper East region to boost their farming activities. Whilst commending the Minister for the pledge, we think the combined harvester alone would not solve the problem associated with farming in the area.

The farmers must be provided with tractors and other farming inputs including irrigation facilities that would enable them farm all year round. Looking at the vast land that we have in the three northern regions, Ghana should have produced enough food to feed her population, but we are unable to do so due to lack of support to our farmers.

In cases where the farmers rely on their physical strength to produce, there are no ready markets for their produce. Though farmers have complained several times about this, our politicians always pay lip service to their demands. It is the hope of The Chronicle that the Minister of Agriculture must this time really mean what he is saying, and should definitely deliver the combined harvester to the farmers.

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