Farmers in the Wa West District have called on government to mechanise available dams or construct new ones under the one-village-one-dam programme to enable them engage in dry season farming for alternative livelihood.
Though some crop growers practise dry season farming using water pumping machines, the farmers said, the daily cost involved in fuelling the machines was too exorbitant to bear due to rising fuel prices.
Mr Siedu Isdin, a vegetable farmer at Balawa told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that some farmers in the community were discouraged from engaging in dry season farming because of their inability to afford water pumping machines.
“This dam has a lot of benefit for us, we can fish there and sell to get money and also farm with it, unlike other people who want to farm in the dry season but can’t get.
“We are calling on the government to come and mechanise it for us, in the dry season one must have a machine, but it is not everybody that can afford it”.
He appealed to government to mechanise the dam to encourage all-season farming that would discourage many youth from going into illegal mining that cause extensive damage to the environment.
Another farmer at Siiru, Mr Kaasim Nuwiekye, said efforts of farmers to earn a meaningful living were being drained into gutters due to excessive cost in irrigation farming.
“In as much as we are benefiting immensely from the dam at the community, we spend a lot of money to buy fuel for the water pumping and at the end of the day we don’t make any profit.
“Sometimes, you feel that it is better if you don’t farm at all, so we are appealing to the government to mechanise the dam for us to reduce cost”.
Meanwhile, farmers at Pigbengben in the Vieri Electoral Area of the District have expressed worry that the only available dam in the community easily dried up, rendering members almost unproductive during dry seasons.
They also want government to extend the One-Village-One-Dam programme to their community to serve as alternative livelihood to farmers during the lean season.