Mr Ebenezer Philip Azidoku, the Kwahu Afram Plains North Agriculture Director has expressed worry at the deplorable nature of roads leading to communities where beneficiary farmers of the government’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme reside.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Donkorkrom in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District, he said although the programme saw significant increment in the number of beneficiary farmers, bad road network was a challenge to the farmers since they could not convey their produce from their farms to marketing centres.
He indicated that about 560 farmers in the district benefitted from the programme last year of which a total of 364 bags of NPK, 93 bags of seed maize, 18 bags of rice and 1,235 bags of urea were distributed to farmers in the district at subsidised prices by the government.
This, he explained, was to enable the farmers to produce on a large scale in order to increase their yield and incomes.
Mr Azidoku said, the project also provided vegetable seeds for interested farmers, especially the youth who want to venture into agriculture.
Mr Azidoku hinted that a warehouse is being constructed at Donkorkrom for farm produce to serve nearby communities which are about 30 per cent completed with the capacity to store up to 10,000 tonnes of food stuffs to enable farmers store their produce for future sale.
He suggested that more of such warehouses needed to be constructed in hard to reach areas so that the beneficiaries of the programme could also preserve their produce for future sales.
The Director expressed worry at the low farmer to extension officer ratio and said currently, the ratio was one extension officer to 2,000 farmers, which placed a lot of workload on the officers.
Mr Azidoku therefore called on the 2017 and 2018 beneficiaries of the PFJ to do well to settle their indebtedness to sustain the initiative.