The Government has been urged to prioritize and invest in the family farming concept and see it as a sustainable strategy to achieve its flagship Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Programme and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The family farming concept, is a means of organizing agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production, which is managed and operated by a family and is predominantly reliant on family labour from both men and women.
Mr. Clement Duku, Chairman of the Asante Effiduase Kroye Farmers’ Cooperative Union at Effiduase in Ashanti, speaking at the farmers ordinary meeting at Asante Effiduase, said reviewing and leveraging on family farming’s potential capacity to improve smallholder farming, with the resultant eradication of hunger and poverty as well as food security, would be the way to go to achieve the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) component of the PFJ.
He said the family farming concept, had for many decades been practiced in the country by small holder farmers in rural communities, who depended on the large family size for labour and indeed, earned their livelihoods from it.
‘‘However, due to lack of its proper management and related issues bothering on the illegalities of child labour and other civic right advocacy, smallholder farmers can no longer take advantage of the family farming concept, to beat off the high cost of labour.
Mr Duku called on government and other relevant bodies, to support farmers to form groups and help to strengthen existing farmers’ groups, to mobilize themselves and provide free labour on each member’s farm.
This, he said would beat off the high cost of labour and aid the expansion of their farms.
Mr. Duku said the group is showing the way by focusing on utilizing the advantages of family farming in the group’s food crop production, since it was the surest way to promote and safeguard farmers’ mutual efforts and investments.
‘‘We are providing labour ourselves in the cultivation of a 5.6 hectares cassava farm, using the family farming strategy, since we cannot afford the cost of labour”, he added.
The proceeds, he said, would be used for gari processing through self labour.