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19.11.2004 Regional News

Farmers, stakeholders share ideas on removal of subsidies

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Tamale, Nov. 19, GNA- Mr Habibu Mohammed, Programmes Manager of the Action Aid, Ghana, in charge of the Northern Region West Development Programme on Thursday said cooperation of international community donors was one of the attributes to continuous poverty in the third world countries.

He, therefore, called on African political leaders come out with policies aimed at doing away with poverty and ensuring that their people were well fed.

Mr Mohammed was addressing farmers and other stakeholders at a workshop organized by the Action Aid on the study of "Impact of removal of subsidies on food security" in Tamale.

About 60 participants including researchers, Agric Extension Officers and Directors of Agriculture from selected districts in the Northern, Upper East and West regions.

Mr Mohammed said some of the donors from the international communities always had enough stock to feed themselves and excess for the third world countries.

He said if the third world countries wanted to gain economic freedom, then it was better they stopped going to the IMF for loans. Mr Sylvester Adongo, Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, who chaired the function said there would be excess food for every citizen in the third world country feed thrice a day if political leaders committed themselves to the welfare of the people.

He said the people of various African countries have to work hard and produce more to avert food shortage on the continent. The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Ernest Debrah in a speech read for him by Alhaji Yahaya Mahama, Deputy Regional Coordinating Director said in view of the removal of subsidies to farmers, the government introduced several interventions to ease the situation.

He said there were measures that the government was putting in place to revitalize agricultural production and that the removal of subsidies by "our governments as against the support given to farmers in the developed economies, calls for information on the impact of the removal of the subsidies".

Some of the participants said the removal of the subsidies impacted negatively on their activities and was one major reason for the decline in food production in the country.

They called on the government to reintroduce the subsidies so that farmers could produce enough food to feed the country and for export.

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