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Politics Tue, 11 Sep 2012

Peasant farmers interact with leadership of PPP

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has assured farmers, especially peasant farmers, of its readiness to use state purchasing power to create a market for their products when voted into power in the 2012 December polls.

Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the Flag bearer of the Party, said it was important to provide ready market for farmers to ensure that they were encouraged year after year to produce more.

Dr. Nduom gave the assurance when the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) presented the “The Farmers Manifesto for Election 2012 and beyond” to the leadership of the Party in Accra on Tuesday.

The farmers' manifesto is a direct concern about the rather insufficient attention given to critical issues affecting stakeholders in the sector.

He said one way to provide ready market is to ensure that all basic schools on the school feeding programme as well as senior high schools patronize strictly made in Ghana commodities for cooking.

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“Ministries, Department and Agencies will also be instructed to consume strictly made in Ghana beverages for refreshment of all their programmes,” he added.

The Flag bearer said a PPP administration would ensure the existence of low interest loans and technical assistance to farmers to improve their businesses. “Under my administration, farmers will be provided with crop insurance to compensate farmers who lose their crops through disaster,” he noted.

Mrs. Victoria Adongo, Programme Coordinator, PFAG, said governments and political parties should strengthen their agricultural politics particularly in the food crop sector, to reverse decades of bias in favor of cash crop production.

She said governments and succeeding governments must ensure that their budgets and appropriations take cognizance of the unequal impacts and benefits to women and men in different social groups and occupations to support women accordingly.

Mrs. Adongo said small-holder farmers particularly women should be given special consideration in the implementation of existing agricultural policy.

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“Government and Political Parties should facilitate the provision and timely access to all farm inputs needed by farmers,” she added.

She said the manifesto seeks to influence political parties’ manifestos for the 2012 elections and also to be used as a tool to hold governments accountable on the delivery on small scale farmer’s priorities in the development agenda.

Mrs. Adongo said access to extension service by farmers appear to be low with the farmer-extension officer agent ratio being 1:1,500.

Source: GNA