Business News of 2014-08-08

Lack of Agric Extension Agents affecting farming

Lack of adequate agriculture extension agents in the Upper Manya-Krobo District is hampering agriculture in the District as the main occupation of the people is farming.

The GNA Media Auditing and Development Tracking Project Team, sponsored by STAR-Ghana, has gathered that with a population of over 29,000 farmers, the district could boost of only a little over 26 Extension Agents with a ratio of 1,115 farmers per an extension officer.

The few Agriculture Extension Agents operating in the district are also seriously handicapped. They have no access to motorbikes to be able to visit nearby communities.

This is affecting the farmers who are not getting the technical knowledge and directions in agriculture as expected and this sometimes result in poor yield.

Extension agents are staff of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) who provides agricultural extension services on chemical application, good planting and harvesting practices and modern trends in farming.

The ideal situation is that at least two or three communities would have access to an Agriculture Extension Agent who would help them cultivate their farms to maximize their yields as well as profits.

The GNA team learnt that many farmers were not getting the desired yields due to lack of technical support services.

Recently at an education seminar organized jointly by the GNA, the District Directorate of MOFA and the District Assembly, the farmers complained that lack of Extension Agents was a worry to them since they relied on primitive ideas inherited from their parents and grandparents in the villages.

They mentioned that lack of knowledge in the application of chemicals often damage their crops and affect their health and appealed to MOFA to do something to save the situation.

The Upper Manya Krobo District is one of the deprived districts in the region and about 90 percent, according to the district’s profile, is engaged in farming activities including fishing by the communities dotted along the Volta Lake.

Source: GNA
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