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Dry season farmers in UER bemoan water shortages

Economic  Water   Farmers Challenges Upper East Region Water challenges are a perennial occurrence especially in the northern regions

Thu, 8 Apr 2021 Source: GNA

The Garu and Bawku onion farmers have called on government to help solve the current water challenges affecting onion cultivation and other dry season gardening in the area.

The farmers who increased production with the hope that the new dams under the ‘One village One Dam policy’ would support their farms, said they were disappointed due to a drought the dams dried up faster than anticipated thereby leaving them stranded as they could not get water for the vegetables.

Madam Salamtu Sumaila, a farmer from Garu who spoke in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the inadequate water supply to the farms from the dams affected growth of their crops.

“I am not able to do much of onion farming this year because of lack of water. Even though there is vast land here, water determines the successful growth of the crops”, she said.

Madam Sumaila said onion farming required a lot of water and was also time bound as they had to attend to the crops from dawn to dusk to ensure that straying livestock did not feed on the crops.

Miss Esther Ayaaba, a dry season farmer from Bawku, said some farmers lost all their vegetables when the dam they depended on dried up.

She reiterated the importance of onion farming in the area, “Many of us depend on dry season farming for our income and that is what we use to cater for our children, to go to school and for their upkeep”.

She appealed to the District Assemblies and government to build more dams, and rehabilitate and expand the existing ones, to enable them to hold more water to support dry season farming.

She also asked for pumping machines, fertilizer and credit facilities to

help the farmers increase production.

She said low prices for the vegetables, especially onion was another challenge farmers faced after harvest.

“Though I would like to go into large scale farming of onion, I do not have the capacity to do so and I am afraid of the frequent challenge of water in the dams” Miss Ayaaba said.

Mr Ndewini Awuni, a farmer in Garu said onion farming was a joy to be involved in especially seeing the crops grow well into maturity and urged government to help sustain their work by helping them with storage facilities to keep the onions until the prices were good.

Mr Awuni also pleaded with government to support the farmers with loans to purchase fertilizer on time for cultivation and to encourage the youth to stay home and work instead of migrating to the south for non-existent jobs.

Source: GNA