Mr Francis Ennor, Upper East Regional Director, Ministry of Food And Agriculture (MoFA ) has encouraged district Directors of Agriculture to incorporate plans to support women farmers with mechanization services to enhance their production capacity.
He called on them to use structures available to facilitate the tractor services for women groups and to help women who could use animal traction such as donkey traction to plough and train them to use them for ploughing their farms.
Mr Ennor said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga in response to availability of mechanization services for farmers especially women in the region in the new cropping season.
“Tractor services are highly privatized and owners of such equipment require ready cash for their services, however the region is expecting some mini equipment and inputs which I will alert women groups when new equipment arrive for farmers to also benefit especially the women who can use them”.Mr Ennor said.
The Regional Director who also responded to other input supply such as fertilizer for the region, indicated that inputs for planting for food and jobs inputs (PLJs)would next year go electronic as the region braced itself for the new system.
“Instead of us keeping records of farmers manually, with the implementation of the new system, it would help to reduce work load and documentation on input suppliers and the directorate ”. He noted.
He said a pretest has been carried out in the region and hope that next year the electronic system will be implemented fully.
Meanwhile Mr Charles Nyaaba, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PPAG) in another interview have stated that it is difficult to determine how farming will be carried out this cropping season
He said considering current cost of production and price hikes in agricultural inputs, the future is bleak for food production.
He said the Upper East Region is the largest supplier of rice in the country but cost of every farm input is highly unbearable.
According to him, though the association was yet to put before government its concerns, he indicated that payment of suppliers of fertilizers and input was key after which farmers need to find the financial rsources to enable them start preparing for the cropping season.