The Western Regional Directorate of Agriculture has set up a Regional Agricultural Business Partnership (RABPs) to help handle the lapses in the Agriculture value chain.
The RABPs would solve, to a large extent the inefficiencies in the market linkages, which had oftentimes led to post-harvest losses, lower-income and eventually made Agriculture unattractive to many people, especially the youth.
Mr Patrick Akowuah, the Western Regional Director of Agriculture, told the Ghana News Agency that the inability of farmers to turn their produce into wealth due to factors such as lack of market linkages, lack of land, transportation and export opportunities could be curtailed when the platform was fully utilized by farmer organizations and other stakeholders in the agriculture supply chain.
The Director said the many interventions by the government and the full participation of the Region had yielded some positive results for farmers.
“We have done well to the extent that we have our own winning the best National Fisheries Extension Officers at the National Farmers day; the Region is not doing well only in the crops but fisheries as well.”
The Region bagged four national awards, nine Regional plus the Best National Fisheries Extension Officer award at the 37th national farmers day celebration in Cape Coast in the Central Region.
He said the Region was also doing well in rice production and with the support could become the rice basket feeding Ghana and the export market as well.
“What we need now to support our farmers is proper irrigation systems, mowers and harvesters, among other tools, to uplift the fortunes in that area,” he added.
The Planting for Food and Jobs, he said, introduced some quality seeds and fertilizers which improved the livelihood of many farmers in the Region.
“We are encouraging the District Assemblies to also support with other tree crops to boost the concept.”
So far, the Region has planted over 10,000 rubbers, a substantial amount of coconut and cocoa, among others.
“We are in talks with some private entities to make available weeding machines and other machinery available to the farmers for proper management of the farms to increase production,” he said.
He noted that youth in agriculture was a focus area for the Region to ensure the sustainability of the sector.
In this regard, issues on land acquisition, marketing of produce, equipment and extension services are being enhanced with the help of stakeholders to entice more youth
“Agriculture is lucrative and we need to conscientiously make that commitment to get our youth in the area.”
The Director projected that the tree crops Authority would do more for the Region come 2022.
“We pray that more oil palm, coconut and rubber receive a boost with the Minerals Commission land reclamation project and other stakeholder support,” he added.
Mr Akowuah said, “Farming is lucrative but one must plan, research about the market and area of attention and attraction and very importantly engage extension officers for good practices that yielded positive results.”