Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in agriculture in the Upper East Region have called on the government to support farmers whose farm lands and livestock were destroyed in the recent floods in the Region.
Mr Bismark Adongo Ayorogo, the Chairman of Advocacy Committee of Upper East Regional CSOs Platform in Agriculture, made the call in a statement to the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga.
“The CSOs are calling on the government, particularly the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance, to as a matter of urgency, come to the aid of all farmers affected by the recent floods that destroyed many farm lands and livestock.”
The statement said the Region, which was already grappling with undesirable levels of poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition, was dependent on agriculture for livelihoods.
According to the CSOs the recent flooding caused by the heavy rains and the spillage of the Bagre dam has compounded the woes of the region and smallholder farmers, especially persons with a disability, youth and women farmers.
The statement said the significant contributions of government’s flagship programmes, such as Planting and Rearing for Food and Jobs, to poverty reduction, food security, nutrition and jobs in the region have been eroded as the flood caused considerable damage to crops, livestock, small dams and post-production infrastructure in many farming communities in the region.
The statement said available statistics indicated that about 200,000 farmers registered for the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme in 2020 in the Upper East Region.
“These farmers who would have produced in greater quantities to increase food productivity and food security for improved livelihoods of the people have had their farms submerged and livestock losses,” the statement reiterated.
The CSOs platform called on the government to establish an Emergency Flood Relief Fund (EFRF) to alleviate the worsening plight of affected farming communities in the region through food aid, livestock support and 100 per cent subsidy on all agricultural inputs for dry season farming.
The statement also urged the government to expedite action on the construction of the Pwalugu Multi-Purpose dam to control and manage subsequent floods in the Region for increased agricultural activities to the benefit of the people.
“Introduce Crop and Livestock Insurance Scheme and make it part of the Planting and Rearing for Food and Jobs Programmes for beneficiaries to be compensated in terms of droughts and floods resulting in loss of crops and livestock,” the statement added.
The CSOs said the impact of this year’s floods on smallholder agriculture and rural livelihoods in the Upper East Region was a signal of looming famine and a serious threat to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) one and two.
“Government must therefore demonstrate a high level of responsiveness to protect and improve livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable households,” the statement said.