Agona Nkum (C/R), Oct 17, GNA - Madam Efuah Fremponmaah, a former Central Region Best Farmer, has expressed concern about the cutting down of trees by illegal chainsaw operators, which degrade the environment. She called on the government to take action to curb the practice since the nation's economic development largely depended on the forest, which has an effect on the country's rainfall pattern and farming activities.
Madam Fremponmaah who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency(GNA) at Nkum, appealed to the people to assist the afforestation programme of the Forestry Commission.
She said that if care was not taken, farming would become one of the most difficult ventures due to the erratic nature of rainfall in the country.
Madam Fremponaah who is 75 years old won the Central Regional Best Farmer award in 1997, commended the government for taking steps to boost farming activities especially that of cocoa. She has 30 acres of cassava, 35 acres cocoa yam, 140 acres of cocoa, 8 acres of teak tress, 16 acres of citrus, 18 acres of oil palm, 8 acres of sugar cane and a fishpond and a snail farm. She urged the youth especially girls roaming in the towns and cities to advantage of "enabling environment" created by the government to enter farming.
The former Regional Best Farmer appealed to the government for assistance to enable her to travel outside the country to learn modern methods of farming to improve her work. She said the major problem facing farmers was financial assistance, adding that, "farmers find it difficult to get loans from financial institutions to expand their farms".
Mad Fremponmaah appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to help her attract financial assistance since banks in the area are refusing to grant substantial amount to enable her produce more . She pointed out that she produced six tones of cocoa last year and appealed for transparency in the selection of recipients by the Best Farmer Award Committee to encourage people working hard to feed the nation.