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General News of Friday, 7 September 2007

Source: GNA

Farmers urge gov't to reconsider signing the EPA

Koforidua, Sept. 07, GNA - Leaders of farmers groups in the country have called on the government to reconsider signing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in the interest of farmers in the West African Sub-region.

They appealed to government to include them in the process of determining and selecting sensitive agricultural products. The farmers made the call in a communiqu=E9 issued at the end of a four-day national workshop on sensitive products in agriculture for leaders of farming groups in Koforidua.

It was attended by representatives of Apex Farmers Organization of Ghana (APFOG), Ghana Co-operative Council (GCC), Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen (GNAFF), Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) and Farmers Organization Network in Ghana (FONG).

The workshop was organized by FONG with support from Peasant Farmers of West Africa (ROPPA).

The farmers commended government for involving peasant farmers in the committee for the preparation towards National Farmers Day celebration and called for inclusion of small-scale farmers on other national committees.

They expressed their sympathy for the people of Northern and Upper East Regions for the deaths and lost of food crops as a result of the floods and urged government to assist the victims to help reduce their plight and prevent the youth from drifting to the south. The communiqu=E9 expressed the support of the farmers for the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy (ECWAP) and called on government to implement the policy.

The farmers appealed to government to give priority attention to address poor road network in the rural areas, irrigation in the country, farmers' access to credit, reduction in lending rates, post harvest losses and processing of agricultural products. "When such policies were pursed, the country could attain self-sufficiency in food production by 2020," they added. 07 Sept. 07