Category: Business & Economics Created on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 08:53 Published Date Written by GNA Hits: 237
Kenyasi(B/A) June 26, GNA - Farmers in Asutifi District of the Brong Ahafo have expressed worry about poor extension services rendered in the district, which has affected food production.
The situation has denied the farmers the application of new technologies, guidelines and practices in their farming activities.
Mr Eric Osafo Asuako, Chairman of Asutifi Farmers Network, said this at a meeting at Kenyasi, capital of the District.
He said the district office of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has only 15 agricultural extension agents working for more than 75,000 farmers in some communities in
Research conducted by the network in some communities indicate that the extension agent ratio of one to 6000 farmers is not encouraging and as result some of the agents do not visit
their operational areas, whilst others do not do it frequently, the chairman explained.
Mr Asuako said that in their findings it was revealed that the agricultural extension agents were not punctual, whilst their relations with farmers, especially female farmers and visits to the
various farms were very poor not encouraging.
He said agricultural extension delivery played a major role in addressing and equipping farmers with improved and modern technologies to improve their farming methods.
The chairman of the farmers’ network said after a dialogue meeting with the extension officers the district director of MOFA stated the district office lacked logistics.
He said the director stated the office has only one vehicle and two motor bikes and this was hampering their movements adding that for the past six months no imprest had been received for fuel and this was affecting the performance of their duties.
Mr Asuako called on the government to address the logistic problem to enable the few extension agents in the districts to be able to be committed and to deliver quality and accessible
extension services to farmers.
A module should be created for extension agents in the National Youth Employment Programme to beef up their number to enhance farmers’ productivity and their living standards, he added.
Mr Asuako suggested that a monitoring and evaluation team be set up to ascertain the performance of agricultural extension agents in their respective operational areas.
Asutifi is one of the largest food growing areas in Brong Ahafo and if farmers are not trained in the new methods of farming, it will definitely affect food production, Mr Asuako stated.
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