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12.08.2004 Regional News

Farmers call for stakeholders' workshop on cotton

By GNA

Tamale, Aug. 12, GNA - The Cotton Farmers Association in the Northern Region has called for a stakeholders' workshop to deliberate on issues that have caused the collapse of the cotton industry in Northern Ghana. The Association said such a forum was necessary because stakeholders were looking on unconcerned, while the industry was collapsing and this was affecting their livelihood.

Mr Patrick Adingtingah Apullah, National Vice Chairman of the Association who made the call in Tamale on Thursday, noted that, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), which has the sole responsibility of ensuring the survival of the cotton industry has not lived up to expectation.

He called on the government to support research institutions in the country to develop improved seeds for farmers to stem the importation of low yielding cottonseeds from neighbouring countries.

Mr Apullah lamented over the bad cottonseeds supplied to them last year for planting, "this will affect the harvest this year", he added. He also called for the re-organisation of the cotton farmers associations, as well as the association of the cotton companies and the cotton sub-sector of the MOFA to revamp the industry and enhance production.

Mr Apullah urged the media to give sufficient coverage of farmers' activities and programmes.

The media could do this by identifying problems that hamper the progress of farmers, as well as giving information on new varieties of seeds and technologies for adoption to increase food production. On politics, Mr Apullah appealed to farmers associations to refrain from partisan politics, warning that their involvement would cause disunity among the members.

He however advised them to cooperate with political parties to ensure peaceful elections in December.

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