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16.07.2005 General News

Irrigation schemes surest means to food security for Ghana


Kumasi, July 16, GNA-An urgent appeal has been made to the Government to muster courage to re-orient its agricultural policies to cater more for the development and sustenance of irrigation schemes in the country.

Mr. Opoku-Agyemang Prempeh, Managing Director of Lakayana Company, a Building and Civil Engineering Consortium who made the appeal said, this is because, "it is irrigation and not slash and burn that is the surest guarantee to food security and self-sufficiency for the country." Mr. Prempeh made the appeal when he addressed a forum of peri-urban farmers in Kumasi on Saturday that was held to brainstorm on marketing avenues and strategies to adopt for enhanced productivity.

He stressed, "even though irrigation systems were the only saving grace and means by which the country could become very productive in agriculture, most governments have always paid lip-service to it."

Mr. Prempeh observed that the country had already got various facilities, including streams, rivers as well as canals, and physical irrigation facilities, and would therefore pose no great problem to develop if the Government genuinely commits itself to it.

The Government, he suggested, should not inject funds into irrigation systems without also considering mechanisms for storage of the produce and their marketing.

Mr. Prempeh said a component part of any policies that would be re-oriented in respect of agriculture should be the construction of silos at vantage points in the farming communities.

The Government too should put in place mechanisms for the creation of a body solely responsible for the buying of all farm produce at a fixed prices, he added.

Mr. Prempeh observed that the lack of ready market for farmers' produce have been one of the major problems hindering efforts and interest of farmers to produce in large quantities.