Help develop irrigation systems for smallholder farmers

The Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA), has called on foreign development partners to consider supporting Ghanaian smallholder farmers to develop and use simple irrigation systems in the food production cycle.

Mr Richmond Frimpong, President of GARDJA, who made the call, said it was important that reliable all year-round water systems infrastructure were made available to farmers, especially, in an era of climate change was having devastating effects on human activities including farming, and food production.

“We cannot continue as a country to rely on rain-fed agriculture, some of our farmers do not have any means to safeguard their farms if the rains fail to set in on time.

We need to, as stakeholders and interest groups within the agricultural space, to shift focus to the use of simple irrigation systems and address the gaps between aggregators and farmers, to ensure increased food productivity and safety, while improving the socio-economic life of the farmer”, Mr Frimpong told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Kumasi.

He said although some development partners had and continued to implement projects to help increase food production in Ghana, there was the need for reliable, efficient and sustainable water systems that farmers could depend on all year round for production.

This, according to him, would help smallholder farmers to increase production, enhance their incomes and livelihoods and at the same time, address the perennial shortages of some food crops in the country.

On poultry production, Mr Frimpong expressed worry at the rate at which poultry farms were folding up in the country and attributed it to the high cost of poultry feeds, coupled with uncontrolled importation of frozen chicken, which had rendered the local noultry business unattractive and called for pragmatic measures to heln resuscitate the Full Automatic Chicken Cage

“At this critical moment, to save the poultry industry, I think it is time for local investors to consider investing in production of poultry feed locally,” he told the GNA, adding that, the industry needed this support to thrive.

He pledged GARDJA’s resolve to work with all stakeholders to help improve rural and urban agricultural, environmental and related issues for safer food systems, ecosystems and biodiversity.

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