The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), has presented Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) including facemasks and presented Veronica buckets, hand sanitisers, tissue papers, liquid soap, detergents and other items to the District Department of Agriculture.
According to the Head of Programmes and Advocacy at PFAG Charles Kwowe Nyaaba in partnership with International Budget Partnership (IBP) and Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers (GhaFFaP), the Association is making the donation to support the training of over 300 Agriculture Extension Agents (AEA) and a number of farmers in 36 districts in Ghana on World Health Organisation (WHO) safety precautions in order for farmers to be able to carry out their farming activities with limited risk of contracting Coronavirus.
He indicated that AEAs are crucial in supporting farmers yet they are not recognised as frontline service providers by government.
Nyaaba expressed disappointed over government’s neglect of small holder farmers in the provision of support from COVID-19 Support Fund.
“Government failed in supporting farmers like it is doing for other frontline service providers. So far, there is no indication that Agric Extension Agents and agricultural workers have benefited from the COVID-19 support. Even with the 600-million-cedi credit for small businesses, smallholder farmers cannot access it because they don’t register their businesses, they don’t have Tax Identification Number (TIN) numbers. But these are some of the requirements to access the credit,” Mr Nyaaba.
He appealed to government to consider designing flexible support systems for small holder farmers to access credit since they are already neglected from the formal financial institutions. He cautioned that, without proper support mechanisms in place for farmers, Ghana risk becoming food insecure nation in the near future.
According to the Techiman Municipal Agric Director, James Adu, who received the donations, the initiative of the PFAG is laudable and timely. He urged the AEAs to ensure that they increase their sensitisation activities as well as ensuring that farmers continue to take advantage of the numerous government interventions to increase their food production.
He further urged farmers to also take advantage of the government Planting for Food and Jobs programme to improve their food production and make Ghana food secure.
According to Nana Ameyaw Manu, the Vice President of PFAG, the association will continue to collaborate with government to ensure that Ghana is food secure.
The extension officers and farmers were highly excited for the training and thanked PFAG and Techiman Health Directorate for facilitating the training.
An Agricultural Extension Officer based in Techiman, Daniel Yando, noted that, the training was very useful.
“It has equipped me with how to safely engage farmers without risking my own life and that of the farmers,” he said.
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