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Madam Victoria Adongo
Madam Victoria Adongo

Govt urged to invest in NASTAG to meet local demands

Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has called on the government to invest in the National Seed Traders Association of Ghana (NASTAG) to boost their operations to meet the local demands of farmers and also create jobs for teeming youth thereby improving incomes and livelihoods.

“Instead of importing seeds, we have seeds producers and growers in Ghana but they are having challenges that make them unable to meet the farmers demand so the government should invest more in them to produce more seeds for the farmers, “explained Madam Victoria Adongo, Programmes Coordinator of PFAG.

She  made  the appeal in an interview with Public Agenda  at a  workshop held in Accra recently and  jointly  organized   by PFAG and Groundswell International on the theme; ‘’Reforming the Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme for Food Sovereignty.’’

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She said, “We acknowledge the effort of government to build a Ghana beyond aid. In this regard we call on the government to immediately reconsider shifting the burden of critical public expenditure from donors to government of Ghana. We demand that government significantly raise the levels of capital expenditures in agriculture-investment into simple peasant friendly agriculture technology to support conservation agriculture.’

Madam Adongo added that, government should allocate funds to prioritize and promote conservation agriculture by recruiting more extension officers who should focus on skills development and training of farmers on Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration techniques, Sustainable land management including agroforestry, inter-cropping and crop rotation, soil and water conservation technologies and agroecology.

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Dr John Jatoe, a Researcher at the University of Ghana presenting a research commissioned by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, recommended the use of subsidised mineral fertilizer as part of a wider integrated soil fertility management approach and promotes joint use of organic and inorganic fertilizers including the subsided organic fertilizer.

Dr Jatoe said the country’s expenditure on agriculture fell far short of the Maputo Declaration Benchmark of 10 per cent and was even declining. He said Ghana’s public spending on agriculture was low, both by regional and international standards, and had been on the decline in recent years whiles the fertilizer subsidies constituted a growing per cent of that total.

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He said government needed to re-think the approach for sustainable food security hinged on domestic production.

Mr Abdul Rahman Mohammed, president of the peasant farmers association of Ghana also added that, the government should give farmers the necessary support so that they can boost the agro ecological farming in the country and also increase organic compost manure.

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