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26.03.2006 General News

Govt urged to give attention to urban agriculture


Kumasi, March 26, GNA - The Food Security Policy and Advocacy Network (FoodSPAN), an NGO, has called on the government to give attention to urban agriculture that is crucial to food security and poverty alleviation.

The Network noted that with appropriate policies targeting the small-scale farming sector, more would be achieved on food productivity, economic growth and poverty reduction.

This was contained in a statement issued at the end of the Network's annual general meeting in Kumasi on Saturday. The statement read by Mr David Eli, a member of the Steering Committee of the Network, said agricultural policy and extension should target small-scale farmers and fishermen who were losing out due to the present export orientation dominated by rich farmers.

It called for the strict enforcement of the legislative instruments on deforestation and the destruction of water bodies. The statement called on the government to support and promote rice production and the poultry through the establishment of rice and poultry development funds.

It said, "efforts or policies to promote these sectors will impact significantly on the eradication of poverty since most farmers have demonstrated their ability to produce rice and poultry locally". The Network suggested to the government to demonstrate the political will to implement the appropriate policies other than succumbing to the dictates of international organisations that do not have any appreciation of the domestic challenges and priorities of the country. 26 March 06