Vegetable Farmers

A research conducted by the Ghana Trades and Livelihoods Coalition (GTLC) in 2019 has shown that farmers’ trust in improved seeds supplied under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs) programme dropped significantly.

The research showed that some of the farmers, who have experienced low germination of the improved seeds supplied under the programme, started rejecting the seeds when it was supplied to them in 2019.

Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, Coordinator of GTLC, disclosed this in Wa during a policy dialogue to discuss gender disaggregated results of a survey that assessed the implementation of the four out of the five pillars of the PFJs agenda in 2019.

Mr Akalbila, therefore, appealed to government to whip up farmers trust in the improved seeds supplied under the programme by ensuring that there were adequately tested to ascertain their germination efficiency to boost confidence.

He pointed out that the market women who provided about 80 per cent of market access to the farmers had been excluded from the structures put in place.

GTLC believed the government could do better by looking at a scheme to support market women to be able to aggregate properly, standardize and transport to various locations to sell to the various suppliers.

Mr Akalbila said the “One-District-One-Warehouse” could be a system government could work with market women to provide access to them.

He noted, however, that the study revealed there was an increase in access to fertilizer and extension services even though there were still some gaps.

The GTLC Coordinator noted that to be able to maximize the benefit of input supplied to farmers, the government must ensure that knowledge and information become easily accessible by farmers.

Mr Akalbila pointed out that based on what they found through the research, they were systemic problems that needed to be dealt with especially about the involvement of the private sector.

He said the private sector so engaged must be accountable to the District Departments of Agriculture and not to the political authorities.

Mr Abdul-Rahman Tawfic, the Chief Executive of Big Ajar Farms, called for a mechanism to ensure farmers received inputs and seeds at the same time to avoid delays.

“The price is not an issue. Access at the right time is the most important thing for farmers,” he said.

The assessment was gender-disaggregated and enabled an insight on appropriate targeting of women and men in the provision of services in the PFJ agenda in the Upper West Region.

The discussion, which is part of GTLC’s Agro Policy Performance Barometer (APPB) report series which commenced in 2012, is also meant to influence the implementation of gender-responsive planning and budgeting in the agriculture sector in Ghana.

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