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Regional News of Saturday, 15 December 2012

Source: GNA

Smallholder vegetable farmers demand dams from duty bearers

The Gbeduri Cooperative Vegetable Farmers and Marketing Society Limited (GCVFMSL), has called on duty bearers to provide irrigation dams to enhance vegetable production for economic gains.

GCVFMSL, a smallholder farmer’s association in the Northern Region, said the provision of dams in their area would improve the socio-economic wellbeing of its members, increase food security and improve the nutritional content of many Ghanaians.

These were contained in a statement jointly signed by Alhaji Dramani Salifu and Mr. Kofi Nicholas Yaji, Chairman and Secretary respectively of the association, copied to Ghana News Agency in Tamale.

The association observed that the unavailability of dry season dams in the Gbeduri area had created economic lost to the nation and its members, especially during crops failure.

It said: “We believe it is our right to have economic opportunities ... this can only be possible if responsible people who have been put in positions of authority do the right things”.

The statement said members of the association rely on the tributaries of the River Oti as a source of water to cultivate vegetables, including onions, cabbage, pepper but the source of water is unreliable, making them unable to expand their activities, leading to great losses estimated between 70 per cent to 80 per cent annually’.

It called on the Bunkpurugu District Assembly, the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority, the Northern Rural Growth Programme and the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority as well as other Ministry of Food and Agriculture and allied agencies to expedite action on the request of the association.

The statement said dry season farming was an alternative means of climate change adaptation strategy, noting that vegetable consumption was not only economically viable but provides cure for many health diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart related diseases.