Ghanaian farmers have vehemently called on the Mahama-led government to include them on boards of the Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund (EDIF) and the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to enable them (famers) offer support and advice to the two companies to boost agricultural production.
The President of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana, Mr. Philip Abayori made the call at the just-ended National Farmers' Day celebration, held at Abokobi in the Ga East Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
The 28th National Farmers Day, which was on the theme: 'Grow More Food; Strengthening Farmers Base Organization for Market place Bargaining Power' was used to award hard working farmers whose toils have kept the nation from going hungry.
Mr. Bayori stated: "We are also calling on Government to include one farmer and a fisher on the boards of the Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund (EDIF) and the Agricultural Development Bank.
This is very important to enable them (farmers) offer support, advice and ensure that our farmers and fisher receive the needed timely agricultural credit".
Furthermore, the famers and fisher urged the government to fulfill its commitment under the Maputo declaration to put 10% of the national budget into agriculture and give farmers and fishers' grants to strengthen the country's food production capacity.
Touching on Farmer Based Organizations' (FBOs) support, Mr. Abayori appealed to the government to use part of the oil revenue to support Ghana's agric industry. He reminded the government to act as a matter of urgency to upscale irrigation infrastructure in the country, with focus on small medium and large-scale systems to avert the uncertainties of climate change that post dangers to rain-fed agriculture.
According to him, the youth in agricultural programme should be revised to rather train and support them with scientific and modern appropriate agricultural technologies, geared towards post harvest reduction and management, marketing and value addition.
There should be a national, regional and district fertilizer subsidies committees, which should include the FBos at all levels to ensure that the subsidies are well managed to the benefit of the Ghanaian farmer, Mr. Abayori demanded.
He used the occasion to urge the government and other stakeholders in the agric-business sector to put in place strategies to integrate the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) markets to facilitate the free movement of agric goods and services.