The Volta Regional office of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme has taken delivery of 237 motorbikes to be distributed to all 25 districts of the region.
The motorbikes, provided by the Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) project with funding from the Global Alliance of Canada, is meant to augment the work of extension officers in the various districts.
Mr Sylvester Owusu, Regional Engineering Officer and former Acting Regional Director, PFJ, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said one of the objectives of the PFJ initiative is to improve extension delivery services in the districts.
He expressed concern on how “quite poor” the contact hour ratio of the extension officer to farmer in the districts were, saying “the bikes will help reach farmers in all operational areas”.
Mr Owusu said with no means of transport to visit farmers and their farms at an appointed time, extension officers were forced to use transportation provided for them by Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) or use “okada” to reach a few farmers- with many left out leading to bad farming practices.
He said the delivery of the bikes to the districts would improve contact hours and by extension, help observe good agricultural practice, with farmers adopting improved agricultural technology to increase productivity.
The Region is expecting to register about 100,000 farmers under the PFJ initiative by the close of 2019 with each Assembly taking delivery of between six and 18 motorbikes.
About 70,000 farmers have so far been registered in the Region and given improved vegetables, maize and rice seeds, foliar and granular fertilizers.