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16.08.2004 Regional News

Blind farmers face problems

By GNA

Accra, Aug. 16, GNA- A group of blind vegetable farmers, many of them women, in Karni in the Jirapa District of the Upper West Region are facing difficulties in transporting and marketing of their produce. The group bagged 10 mini bags of onions in March this year but had problems of carting the produce to marketing centres.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Monday, Mrs Agnes Addo-Mensah, Head of Special Education Unit of the Non-Formal Education Division (NFED) of the Ministry of Education, said the group made up of 30 women and 15 men have been engaged in dry-season farming since 1996 under a project supported by NFED under its Functional Literacy Programme and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Mrs Addo-Mensah said though members who do not only read and write had received vocational skills, they take to farming to support themselves.

She told the GNA that the farmers prepare the land themselves, and are able to identify weeds from vegetables despite their predicament. Mrs Addo-Mensah said they also receive support from Agriculture Extension Officers.

She said blind farmers in Eremon in the Lawra District were also engaged in planting economic trees under a similar project. She said part of monies raised from the farming was re-invested to sustain the projects.

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