A farmer at Kintampo in the Bono East, Mr. Asare Robben, is advocating for increased investment in Ghana’s Agriculture sector as the Coronavirus Pandemic cases increase and countries in their quest to contain this epidemic are going into total lockdown.
“Ghana has recorded 6 confirmed cases of people testing positive to this infamous global pandemic and we must not take chances with respect to the Agricultural sector,” he said.
He is worried that the government has not announced any plans of increasing food production in these hard times and as to even if we have more food to feed the country if the Pandemic travels beyond five months.
“We wake up to the reality of other countries, in their quest to contain this epidemic go into total lockdown, this will have a serious impact on Ghana and an effect on the importation of food products,” he said.
The National Best Agroforestry farmer 2019 is pleading with the Government to increase investment into Agriculture and speed up the circulation of subsidized Fertilizers, Seedlings, and Pesticides to farmers.
“put in place strong monitoring strategies to make sure it gets down to the farmers, I mean we the farmers, am talking out of experience” he added.
Mr. Asare noted that the youth constitutes a majority of the population, and without employment implied productivity in the country is low, as such, as a country aiming at socio-economic development there is a need to empower the youth to be able to run with ideas and grow businesses.
“We require a new generation of doers and achievers to end extreme poverty and hunger on the continent” he added.
Mr. Asare made these remarks in an exclusive interview with this reporter on Ghana’s Agricultural Sector, challenges smallholder farmers are facing and how Policymakers are not plateful.
He said the discussion had been that the youth could find employment in so many sectors but often times agriculture is being left out, the very sector that could employ the majority of the youth.
"Help us with farm machinery to cultivate and harvest our crops and increase extension services on our farms,” he appealed.
He added that our President announced measures aimed at reducing the spread of this global pandemic in Ghana but never said anything about food which is very key in these difficult times.
“I call on the government to double or triple investment into Agriculture now, let's not forget 1982-1983 where Ghana experienced starvation as a result of drought."
“This sad experience in Ghana’s history can repeat itself as a result of this COVID-19, my colleague farmers adhere to all precautionary measures and stay safe; this is the time our beloved mother Ghana needs us most," he warned.