Farmers Biometric Registration
Farmers Biometric Registration

The Department of Agriculture of the Mfantseman Municipal Assembly has begun the biometric registration of farmers under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme.

This is to help capture their commodity size, location and bio-data to plan for the supply of inputs such as fertilizers amongst others and to create a data base for planning and policy formulation for the improvement of agriculture in municipality.

Mr Ebenezer Azasu, the Municipal Director of Agriculture who disclosed this in an interview with the GNA said the registration would go a long way to reduce smuggling of fertilizer and other farm inputs which were highly subsidised to farmers.

He said the Department had taken delivery of three additional biometric machines and trained some NABCO personnel to assist in the registration exercise.

Last year, a total of 3,510 farmers made up of 2, 450 males and 1,060 females were registered under the PFJ programme in the Municipality of which 1,030 benefited from the distribution of 35 bags of maize seeds, 637 MPK and 540 Urea fertilizers last year.

Mr Azasu said beneficiary farmers saw a significant improvement in their yields especially for maize and other vegetables because they had access to improved seeds and fertilizers and that maize farmers for instance, recorded 2.47 metric tonnes per hector compared to 1.7 metric tonnes for non-beneficiaries.

The Department would undertake more sensitisation and education campaigns to expand the tentacles of the PFJ programme to benefit over 4,000 farmers in the municipality by the end of the year.

He explained that the Assembly had prioritised the cultivation of major vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage and pepper amongst others to make the municipality a hub of vegetable production in the country.

Plans were far advanced for the Assembly to partner prospective investors to give a strong boost to greenhouse farming in the area to increase food production, he indicated adding that his outfit would continue to introduce farmers to modern technology and best farming practices to enhance production for increased export and revenue.

Inadequate extension agents, he said was affecting agricultural services delivery in the municipality.

The Municipality has over 26,700 farmers in about 52 farming communities but could boast of only eight extension officers with an extension officer handling between six to 12 communities.



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