Mr Kofi Vinyo, the 2020 National Physically-Challenged Best Farmer has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to prioritize and build irrigation facilities in his next government, to make agriculture attractive.
He emphasised that lack of irrigation facilities and dams remained huge challenges in the agriculture sector, and farmers, in general, expected the next Akufo-Addo’s government to address that and strengthened the Planting for Food and Jobs (PfFJs) programme.
Mr Vinyo who has also adjudged the National Best Maize Farmer in 2016, and Managing Director of the Kofi Vinyo Company Limited, an agro-processing company at Kwatire made the appeal in an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Kwatire in the Sunyani West Municipality.
The company, which has 50 employees and 200 casual workers processed tiger nuts, and plantain into powder for export and domestic consumption and it has 127 acres of tiger nuts, 50 acres of coconut, 6 million snails, 200 acres of cashew and over 100 acres of plantain and cocoyam.
Mr Vinyo indicated that the government’s flagship One-Village-One-Dam and the PfFJs programmes were laudable to modernise agriculture, it would be difficult for farmers to improve productivity and expand their scope if adequate irrigation facilities were not provided.
He stressed that the impact of climate change was well felt, and that had changed the rainfall pattern, saying farmers could no longer rely on rains in the minor and major crop seasons any longer.
The physically-challenged farmer ruled-out the wrong perception that farming was reserved for the academically poor, and advised the teeming unemployed youth to engage in commercial farming as a lucrative business to better their lots.
“I am a graduate of the KNUST, and clearly you see how I am doing in farming.
Farming is a lucrative business, but the challenge making it unattractive is the lack of irrigation facilities and dams. If the government built more irrigation facilities, farming would be more attractive for the youth”, he added.
Mr Vinyo appealed to the government to support the company to procure modern agriculture machines and logistics to improve on its work and create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the area.