Mr Francis Ennor, the Upper East Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has advised farmers in the region to farm activities to increase production without fear of contracting the COVID-19.

“Some of the farmers are expressing the fear that if they go to the farms they will contract the virus that is not true because COVID-19 is not on the farm. You will rather contract COVID-19 when you leave farming activities and move from one spot to the other to attend social functions, so if you want to be free of the virus, go to the farm,” he stated.

The Regional Director, therefore, encouraged the farmers to expand their production as the pandemic had the potential of posing a serious threat to the food security situation in the country.

Mr Ennor gave the advise when he addressed Agriculture Extension Officers from the various districts in the region at a sensitization programme on the coronavirus disease.

It was organized by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), to adequately empower the Extension Officers to educate the farmers particularly those in the deprived rural communities to demystify the misconceptions surrounding the virus and farming.

The Regional Director explained that COVID-19 was real, however, it was not an excuse not to engage in farming as it could be done with strict adherence to the precautionary and safety protocols.

The Regional Director commended the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana for contributing to ensure that the farmers went about their normal activities and encouraged the Extension Officers to ensure that only the right information was disseminated to the farmers.

Mr Mohammed Abdul-Rahman, the National President, PFAG, explained that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected every sector of the economy including agriculture and it was imperative to put measures in place to boost the sector.

He said the sensitization programme was part of efforts to allay the fears of farmers especially the smallholder farmers to achieve sustainable agricultural production even in the midst of the pandemic.

He expressed optimism that with the knowledge acquired, farmers would be able to engage in farming activities without contracting the infectious disease.

The Association also presented some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks and alcohol-based hand sanitizers, as well as hygiene materials such as veronica buckets, soap among others to the extension officers, to be positioned at the various district offices to ensure safety.

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