The Director of Agriculture at the Tarkwa Municipal in the Western Region of Ghana, Nana Banyin Acquah, has appealed to the government to maintain the subsidies on agricultural inputs to increase farmers’ interest in the Planting for Food and Jobs, particularly among the youth.
Aside wrong land use and ‘galamsey’ activities in the Municipality, the few youth in agriculture were relinquishing the task to farm due to inadequate finances, he said.
Nana Acquah said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency during the Western Regional Joint Sector Review Programme in Agriculture to assess performance and make policy recommendations to government for improvement.
He called for active policy on land acquisition and usage to make more lands available for farming purposes.
He said the subsidy on seeds, fertilizer and feed for poultry and livestock, among other things, had been helpful in alleviating poverty, hence the need to sustain it for maximum benefits.
Nana Aquah said about 2,700 youth had been trained in best practices under the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana Project, adding: “We are happy that some of the youth are still in the practice”.
Many farmers had also been linked to suppliers to ensure ready market for their produce, he said.
“We are fighting to secure and make agriculture attractive but land is also becoming a great challenge and we need to move from small holder farming ….The subsidy must also be maintained a little longer,” he said.
Most participants blamed the low crop cultivation on the late supply of fertilizers.