Business News of 2013-12-09

Food crop production in Bolgatanga in deficit

The quantity of crops production in Bolgatanga Municipality and its surroundings this year is in deficit of 8,244 metric tons, says Mr Edward Ayeribe Ayagle, Municipal Chief Executive.

Speaking at the 29th farmers’ day celebration at Zuarungu, near Bolgatanga, he blamed the situation on climate change. He said the total production of crops except millet and sorghum dropped drastically resulting in an overall production fall of 42 per cent.

Mr Ayagle said due to erratic rainfall patterns, all the major eight dams in the Municipality including Dlugu, Gambibgo, Soe, Dorongo, Sumbrungu, Kulbia, Sherigu, Kunkuna and Dulba and two dug outs are only half filled, which he said would affect dry season farming.

He said five per cent of Ghanaians are food insecure, and 15 per cent of that population is in the Upper East Region. “Most households in the Bolgatanga Municipality experience significant degree of food insecurity, normally spanning over a period of about six months each year,” he said.

He said plans are far advanced by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to develop a comprehensive post harvest strategies. Mr Patrick Abakeh, Municipal Director of Agriculture said in 2010, the municipality received 69 days of rainfall, in 2011 69 days, in 2012 the days reduced to 67 days and this year 47 days.

He said these are signs of climate change. Mr Abakeh asked the farmers to stop bush burning and felling of tress, avoid plastic waste littering and practice safe use of agro-chemicals.

He attributed the problem of food insecurity in the area to factors such as subsistence farming, farming left in the hands of the aged and environmental issues such bush burning.

Mr Ayinbilla Aduko emerged as an overall Municipal farmer and was awarded with a motor bike, a pair of Wellington boots, a radio set, bags of fertiliser, cutlasses. About 15 other farmers were awarded in others categories including the best rice farmer, the best corn farmer, the best millet farmer, the best pig farmer and best sheanut picker.