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Regional News Mon, 2 Jan 2006

Media urged to report on rural poverty

Nyankpala, (N/R), Jan. 2, GNA - The General Secretary of the Apex Farmers Organisation of Ghana (AFOG), Osofo Patrick Adingtingah Apulla has called on the media to give Ghanaians a breathing space for 2006 by shifting their reportage from politics and to concentrate more on how to fight rural poverty in the country.

He said the media must help to reduce poverty in society instead of concentrating on reporting on fruitless political issues, which had the potential of causing disunity among the people and entrenching rural poverty.

Osofo Apulla, who made the call in interview with the Ghana News Agency at Nyankpala on Sunday, noted that poverty was a great challenge for Ghana, saying: "it drives humanity crazy and can throw democracy into the gutters".

He said the challenges for the media for 2006 should include ensuring the equitable economic growth in agriculture, food security, job creation, measures to facilitate technological transfers and the promotion of national unity as well as a sense of ownership of whatever was Ghanaian in their reportage.

Osofo Apulla called on the media to report on issues of agriculture, farmers' problems on production, successes of farmers and technologies transfers from the country's research institutions and universities to help to improve the living standards and livelihoods of the people.

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He said: "There is the urgent need for the media to recognise and acknowledge that they have a powerful tool to reduce poverty by 2015 through the active participation and reportage that project agricultural productivity, which holds the basic key to Ghana's economic, social and political emancipation."

The AFOG General Secretary noted that it was sad that extreme poverty and hunger greatly plagued the rural population with under-nourishment increasing among children on a daily basis while the media closed their eyes to it.

He appealed to the Government and development partners to address the issues of rural poverty in the country through increased access to credit, development aid and improved information technology and dissemination.

Osofo Apulla suggested the institution of a special award for the best media personality for agriculture to encourage more media men to develop interest in that sector. 2 Jan 06

Source: GNA
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