Alhaji Zakaria Fuseini, the Upper East Regional Director of Agriculture, has appealed for donor support to facilitate activities towards ensuring food security in the region.
He said the Department of Agriculture lacked adequate funding to extensively carry out some of its planned activities, including monitoring, coordination and capacity building of farmers, to enable them to manage their crops and livestock appropriately.
The support would ensure the extension of services to improve crop and livestock production for food security.
Alhaji Fuseini made the call at the Annual Research and Extension Linkage Committee (RELC) meeting of the Department of Agriculture, under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in Bolgatanga.
The two-day meeting was to formulate strategies and medium term plans to address identified constraints affecting the agricultural sector in the region.
The RELC is a platform to enable stakeholders at the district, zonal, and regional levels to review their implemented plans from the previous year and share ideas to improve the weak linkage between research institutions, extension workers and policymakers.
It is also to make research and extension provision demand-driven services to farmers and other stakeholders, to encourage active participation, enhance interaction, and bring decision-making in technology development and dissemination closer to farmers and agribusinesses.
Policy Link Ghana, the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet), Syecomp, and the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) participated to highlight various plans geared towards enhancing agriculture.
They identified constraints like inadequate tractor services for women smallholder farmers, the emergence of pests and diseases, high cost of inputs, erratic rainfall, inadequate veterinary staff, and feed for ruminants during the dry season.
Alhaji Fuseini said while some of the challenges could be addressed at the local level, others were beyond its scope and would be channeled to the national level for redress.
Mr Issah Sugri, the Regional Coordinator of RELC and a Senior Research Scientist at SARI, said the platform was to link technology and actors in its generation centers, to the end users in the agriculture value chain.
“The constraint faced by RELC is resources to be able to do planning sessions and also implement those activities,” he said, and appealed to MoFA to institutionalise the platform, to enhance stable funds to accelerate its activities nationwide.
Mr Joshua Asamoah, a Senior Meteorologist at GMet, called on the farmers to make good use of the weather forecast information the Agency provided to appropriately plan their planting periods against the rain patterns for good yields.
Mr Norbert Abangna, a farmer, promised to extend the knowledge acquired to other farmers, but urged the organisers to ensure the inclusion of more farmers on learning planform for improved outcomes.