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Regional News of Sunday, 20 October 2019


More vulnerable groups to benefit from PFJ at West Mamprusi

The West Mamprusi Municipal Department of Agriculture said it is committed to increasing by 10 percent the number of women, youth and persons with disability (PwDs) benefiting from the Planting for Food and Jobs by next year.

Mr Mathew Adua, the West Mamprusi Municipal Director of Agriculture, said this formed part of the Department’s Action Plan to increase food production as well as incomes for women, youth and PwDs in the area.

Mr Adua was speaking at a workshop at Kukua, a community in the West Mamprusi Municipality of the North East Region, to validate research findings on the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) as part of the “Advocacy for support for agricultural value chain in the Northern Region Project.”

It is being undertaken by Peace for Life Ghana (PLG), an NGO, with support from the BUSAC Fund.

The PLG conducted the research in the Municipality in February, this year, to gauge farmers’ awareness on the PFJ, whether or not they benefited from it or knew about its gender component.

The research showed that vulnerable groups including PwDs, women and youth, who could also engage in agriculture, had not been properly mainstreamed into the PFJ.

Figures from the Municipal Department of Agriculture showed that out of 2,165 farmers who received certified seeds under the PFJ, only 491 were females, whilst out of 4,441 that received fertilizers, only 357 were females.

Mr Adua said the PFJ had boosted food production leading to low prices of farm produce and indicated that conscious efforts would be made to increase the number of women, youth and PwD beneficiaries who formed the core of farm labour, to further boost production.

He advised farmers to explore the agricultural value chain and take advantage to increase production and incomes.

Some farmers said they encountered challenges in accessing tractor services to prepare their fields for planting, whilst others could not access fertilizer at the right time for their crops.

Mr Adua assured them that efforts were being made to establish agricultural mechanisation and service centre in the Municipality to help address tractor service needs.

Madam Mary Kalori, a groundnut and maize farmer, said many women could not cultivate their fields due to lack of funds and appealed to government to support them with loans to pay back after harvest.

Dr Gabriel Benarkuu, President of the College for Community and Organisational Development, who is a Consultant on the project, advised farmers in the area to regularly visit the Department of Agriculture to seek solutions to their challenges to help improve their productivity and incomes.

Mr Mutawakilu Alhassan, the Executive Director of PLG, expressed happiness about the advocacy activities in the area, which had helped to improve on farmers’ knowledge on the PFJ.

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