Most groundnut farmers in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region have expressed the of losing their produce because of a prolonged drought.
Some of the stranded farmers have resorted to watering their farmlands to enable them to harvest, but this they explained was only possible for those whose farms were small and close to water source.
The harvesting of groundnuts requires the land to have some moisture and be soft enough to allow easy uprooting of the nuts, but there has not been rain in the region for the past one month and the ground is caked hard with the buried nuts, making it difficult for farmers to harvest.
When the Ghana News Agency visited some farmlands in the district, it observed that, the farms were dried up and farmers were forcibly digging out the nuts with hoes.
At the Dagliga Community for instance, farmers were seen knocking the ground on their farms with hoes to soften it to enable them to pull the nuts out of the ground.
Also, at the Gane Community, farmers were seen watering their farmlands for laborers to easily dig out the nuts with hoes.
Mr Narrow Goubagre Sampana, the Nabdam District 2018 best farmer said though there was high yield of groundnut this year, the major problem was with harvesting.
“In this particular year, almost all those who went in for groundnut farming will agree with me that there is high yield but how to harvest it is the big problem we are all facing, and I don’t think it will be possible for all of us to harvest our produce if there is no rain at this immediate moment,” he said.
“The rain patterns this year was fluctuating and so we sowed late and that is why we could not harvest early and now that the groundnut is ready for harvest, there is no rain, and this is really difficult for us because it is not possible to pay laborers throughout, say 10 acres farm and make profit in the end” he added.
Mr Saa Zoya, a groundnut farmer at the Dagliga community, explained that it cost GH₵30 to hire a laborer per day and the hard ground made it impossible for 10 laborers to be able to harvest a bag of groundnut a day and employing laborers was not cost effective.
Mr Michael Tagtam, a groundnut farmer at the Kugsablabuk community said it was not possible for him to harvest all his produce without rain.
‘’ If I say I can harvest all my produce without rain, I will be lying, it is not possible because I do not have funds to employ laborers and a 200-liter drum of water cost GH₵15 and my family and l can only do little without rain, in fact, very soon people will release their pigs and they will destroy our farms” he stated.