Fomena (Ash), May 18, GNA - A day's workshop aimed at increasing food and cash crop production in the newly created Adansi North District through the control of insect pests and diseases ended at Fomena on Tuesday.
The workshop was attended by more than 100 farmers and was organised by the District Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) with sponsorship from INWENT, a German Training and Development Organisation.
There was nets demonstration to control insect pests. Topics discussed included: "Development Trends on Ecological Insect Pests Control" and "Characteristics of Appropriate Insect Pest Control", "Tomatoes Development" and "Current Plans for Co-operative Societies". Mr Alex Effah-Takyi, District Director of Agriculture, urged the farmers to form co-operatives and put up proposals that would enable them to access funds from the agriculture component of the 82-million dollar World Bank Community-based Rural Development Project.
He said since the Project wanted community initiative and participation, areas where Unit Committees were functional stood the chance of benefiting from the programme.
Mr Effah-Takyi announced that the District had received 9,000 bags of fertilizer out of the expected 12,000 bags for distribution to cocoa farmers.
The District Director, however, advised the farmers, who had outstanding bills to settle from the previous distribution, to pay up so as to benefit from the new consignment.
Mr Effah-Takyi advised the farmers to consult the agricultural extension agents anytime they detected some insect pests and diseases so that their control could be effective.
He expressed concern about the manner some farmers ignored the agents and went in for their own agro-chemicals, which ended up not being effective.
"Most invariably these farmers do not know the dosage thereby wasting the chemicals and also destroying the farms and the environment", the District Director said.
Mr Stephen Awuku Nanegbe, who was the main Resource Person, observed that the District had high potential for agriculture and challenged MOFA to develop it.
He, therefore, appealed to the Government to support the District Directorate of MOFA with funds and logistics such as motorbikes to assist the extension agents to visit more farmers to offer them technical advice.
The participants demonstrated their knowledge on traditional methods of controlling insect pests and diseases during group discussions and also stressed the need for farmers to use healthy seeds to reduce plant diseases.