The Executive Director of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana(PFAG), Dr. Charles Nyaaba has expressed disappointment at the failure of the 2023 budget to tackle key issues affecting the agricultural sector, especially government’s flagship programme Planting for Food and Jobs(PFJ).
Mr. Nyaaba added that limited supply of input, lack of quality seeds and expired fertilizers from the initiative are key areas that the 2023 Budget failed to address.
Speaking at an Agric Stakeholder Forum on the 2023 Budget, Dr. Nyaaba stated that they expected the 2023 budget to address key issues such as poor quality of seeds and fertilizer that are hampering production in the agricultural sector.
“What we were expecting the budget to do, is to take advantage of these shortages by putting in money. What led to increase of cost of reduction in the subsidy for fertilizer, high cost of mechanization services, so we were expecting to see the budget allocating huge sums of money to ensure that suppliers of inputs under the PFJ are all paid?”, he said.
Dr. Nyaaba indicated that the government’s proposed Agricultural Insurance policy must prioritize investment in structural challenges in the agricultural sector that is limiting the productivity and potential of farmers.
The Chairman of Competitive Africa Rice Production, Yaw Adu-Poku added that government needs to engage farmers on the Agric Insurance policy for them to accept it before it is implemented.
“This is a government policy and government policies are well thought of programmes that the government wants to pursue. What we are saying is that it is a laudable policy, but we the stakeholders, we those on the ground should have been consulted, made aware to buy into the programme”.
“For example, my farmers and I, do not know about the agric insurance, is it like the health insurance or car insurance or it’s a totally different programme from the normal insurance thing that we know. These are some of the things that we should have discussed before even going to parliament or been captured in the budget”, he added.
The association urged the government to adopt a more holistic approach to addressing structural constraints of small holder farmers to increase their production capacity.
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