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Regional News of Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Source: GNA

Coronavirus impacts farming activities – Bankpama farmers

File photo: The farmers are unable to generate income to invest in their business due to coronavirus File photo: The farmers are unable to generate income to invest in their business due to coronavirus

Some farmers at Bankpama in the Wa West District said the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has negatively impacted their farming activities.

They said due to the COVID-19 restrictions, they were unable to engage in any financial activity that could generate income for them to invest in their farming business.

Madam Faustina Yipaala, a farmer at Bankpama, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that women usually burn charcoal, sell and reinvest the proceeds into their farms.

However, they were unable to burn the charcoal and sell this year due to the COVID-19 restrictions and market closures, adversely affecting their income.

“This time because of COVID-19, we were not able to go out to work, because of that we don’t have the money to farm,” she said.

Madam Yipaala commended the government for introducing the Planting for Food and Jobs programme to enable farmers to access subsidized farm inputs such as fertilizer and improved seeds.

She, however, said some farmers could not access the fertilizers for their farms and urged the stakeholders involved in the distribution of the PFJ fertilizers to block the loopholes to prevent smuggling of the inputs.

Mr James Awula, the Assembly Member for Bankpama Electoral Area, told the GNA that they were unable to farm much as compared to previous years due to the impact of COVID-19.

He also cited irregular rainfall pattern, bad road network and lack of timely access to tractor services as some of the factors that affected their farming activities.

The farmers called on the government to intervene and provide the needed support to help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their livelihoods.

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