Mr Mawuawoe Xesumali, Ketu South Municipal best farmer for 2021, has appealed for government intervention to enable farmers in the country to increase crop production and ensure food security at all times.
He made the appeal in an interview with the Ghana News Agency during a visit to his 15-acre water melon farm located at Atsiakorblor, a farming community near Agbozume in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta region.
Mr Xesumali said the ever rising cost of farm inputs as well as fertilizers, agro-chemicals, insecticides among others was hampering efforts to increase crop production hence the urgent need for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and relevant bodies to help farmers increase their cultivation to prevent any shortage of food in the country.
He said providing farmers engaged in agri-business with soft loans and subsidised farm inputs was the way to go.
He bemoaned the situation where farm produce was left to rot on the farms due to the unavailability of motorable and access roads to convey produce from the farms to the market centres and commended government for its Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative, which he described as sterling.
Mr Xesumali, who cultivates several acres of crops ranging from cassava, maize, chili pepper, ground nuts, water melon, okro, beans, tomatoes and rice, observed that most farmers across the country relied mainly on rainfall, but irregular rainfall patterns made it difficult for them to realise their expected yield.
To this end, he called for support to enable farmers engage in irrigation farming to ensure the availability of food all year round.
The best farmer, who also ventures into animal rearing- cattle, sheep, goat, rabbit, grasscutter, advised the youth to venture into farming and agri-business as it was a viable alternative to non-existing white collar jobs.
Mr Xesumali, Managing Director of Amenuveve Farms Limited, was adjudged Ketu South Municipal best farmer for 2021 after having been nominated for his hard work and commitment to farming and agri-business which he runs both in the Ketu-South Municipality and the Greater Accra region.
He cultivates several acres of farmland and livestock and has employed over 30 permanent farmhands (workers) and about 108 casual workers in turn creating job opportunities for several youth within his catchment area.
Xesumali aspires to become Volta regional best farmer and national best farmer in the near future.
He commended government for its flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme, saying it was a game changer as far as efforts to boost agriculture and farming was concerned.