Business News of 2014-04-19

Sissala farmers worried over state of cotton production

The Sissala Farmers Association in the Upper West Region has expressed grave worry over the current state of uncertainty surrounding cotton production in the area.

Members said registration for farmers for the 2014/15 farming season should have been completed by this month, but as of now, there was no activity going on. There is virtually no information to keep farmers abreast with what they should expect, a situation making us live in absolute uncertainty.

The farmers stated these in a press statement signed by Mr. Sulemani Kassim and Adamu Yakubu, Chairman and Secretary to the Sissala Farmers Association respectively.

The statement said the farmers state of uncertainty was further heightened by the information that Olam Ghana, the company in charge of cotton production in the region, was moving out of cotton production for Wienco to take over in partnership with Masara Narziki, a maize production company.

The statement explained that all attempts by the farmers to seek clarification on the matter from the relevant bodies proved futile.

Our experience working with cotton Board, Ghana Cotton Company and Olam Ghana, and their top-down approaches to management and operations of cotton production, has left farmers with no or very little to say in cotton production, the statement noted.

According to the statement, this has contributed gravely to the current poor state of cotton production in the country in general, and the Upper West Region in particular.

It said whatever the considerations for cotton production in the region for this season may be, they the farmers should be made to have a strong say regarding how cotton production and operations should be managed, as this would enable them bring to bear the experience they gained in cotton production over the years.

Any discussion concerning the future of cotton production including which companies to engage in should ensure the active participation of the association who represent the interest of farmers, the statement said.

Cotton production is a delicate venture, hence its management needs special attention and focus, and should not be merged with any other venture, it further stressed.

The statement therefore called on the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to come clear with the state of cotton production in the Upper West Region, particularly the Sissala Area.

The Association gave a one week deadline to get the response, since time was not on the side of members, as far as cotton production for this season is concerned.

Source: GNA
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