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Agriculture holds the key to the country’s economic growth and development, and therefore, needs effective agricultural extension services.

Mr. Randy Nkrumah, District Manager of the Cocoa Merchant Company, a Licensed Cocoa Buying Company at Duakwa in the Agona East District of the Central Region, who was interacting with the Media on the usefulness for Agricultural Extension Officers noted that the officers from the Cocoa Health Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD had a duty to formulate policies that would improve and develop rural women farmers in their plight against poverty.

According to him, the extension officials helped to wipe out the swollen shoot disease to give hope the industry and therefore, urged them to intensify its treatment.

Mr. Nkrumah said; “women and children are vulnerable in our communities”, that the extension officers should intervene to enable them restore their hope against poverty.

“Agricultural extension furnishes rural people with the knowledge and assistance which enabled them to farm to increase food production, and enhance their income”, he stated.

He said their teaching encouraged farmers to grow their own food with cheap, modern, scientific and appropriate farming methods and technologies, saying, all contributed to help farmers and their families to appreciate the opportunities, the beauties and privileges of rural life.

The Manager added that agricultural extension taught rural people how to raise their standards of living by using their own material and manpower with minimum assistance from the government.

Mr Nkrumah urged agricultural extension agents to be proud of their profession, love their job and regard their experience as an opportunity, adding that, every good and efficient extension agent, besides the training he received at college, should possess the qualities of initiative, intellect, influence and integrity, among others.

He noted that every competent rural development agent like an agricultural extension agent should have sincere interest in the rural farming people and their problems, because agriculture was the backbone of this country, but said the government has a duty to provide the needed “incentive for them to deliver”.

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