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General News of Tuesday, 15 July 2003

Source: GNA

Society has made farmers poor-Kwao

Accra, July 15, GNA- Mr Stephen Amoanor Kwao, Member of Parliament for Upper Manya Krobo, on Tuesday blamed society for the sorry state of the rural peasant farmer and asked that it should be reversed.

He said in the life of the rural farmer, "the cycle of poverty goes on and on. The situation of the Ghanaian farmer keeps on deteriorating. The ordinary farmer is unable to afford good education and health care." The member had delivered a statement in Parliament on "Finding equitable prices for our farmers"

He said:" According to Ghana living standard survey report, about 55 per cent of the working population are employed in agricultural activities," adding that, " farmers should be the focal point of agriculture development. However, it is pathetic that the state and condition of farmers in this country is deplorable.

"Most of the farmers are glued to primitive system of cultivation. Modern agricultural technology is totally out of their reach." He said the worst of the conditions of the farmer is the pricing of farm produce that is normally controlled by intermediaries. "I strongly believe that this system of trade is not fair. It is totally against moral justice. These are some of the issues that we should be addressing."

He called for a, "reasonable regulatory framework, "which would ensure that farmers get their due from their toil." The member said the plight of the farmer goes beyond pricing mechanism, adding, "there is the issue of lack of storage facilities and accessible roads." He called on government to establish storage facilities in rural areas. "It must be noted that there is no need in asking or encouraging farmers to produce more when, indeed storage facilities for bumper harvest are totally unavailable."

Herewith corrected repetition of our item NSOC 27 substituting "Alhaji Ishmael Saaka, Acting Greater Accra Regional Police Commander" for "Dr K. K. Manfo, Commissioner of Police Operations" in the last paragraph.