Peasant Farmers Demand 5% of SADA Funds

The Northern Region branch of the Peasant Farmers� Association of Ghana (PFAG) has appealed to the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to allocate 5% of its funds to help the association to build storage facilities. The association said SADA�s support would help reduce post-harvest losses farmers always incurred in the region. Mr. Mohammed Adam Nashiru, National President of the PFAG, made the appeal at a day�s workshop on Tuesday in Tamale. The workshop dubbed, �Expanding Farmer Access to Market and Storage Facilities in Northern Region� was sponsored by the BUSAC Fund, Danida, European Union and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It also served as a platform to dialogue with farmers and other stakeholders in the agriculture value chain process to see the best farming practices that could also help to address the problem of post harvest losses. Mr. Nashiru said lack of storage and market facilities in the region contributed to low income of farmers, which impacted negatively on their livelihood and caused food insecurity. �We appeal to the government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to expand and decentralize the buffer stock company from the regional to the district level as means of addressing food insecurity�, he said. Mr. Nashiru said it was important PFAG to be involved in the buffer stock�s annual determination of commodity prices to ensure fairness. The buffer stock is a facility designed to store crops at the right temperature. He said the growth and contribution of the small-holder farmers played a significant role in the socio-economic development of the national economy. �This group accounts for about 80% of the domestic production and its development is the most viable strategy for poverty reduction�, he said. Mr. Richard Homawoo, Metro Crop Officer of the MOFA, appealed to farmers to form or join existing groups to enable them receive assistance from the government and other stakeholders. He told them to adhere to the best farming practices so as to achieve the desired results by using certified seeds. �To be able to produce quality crops that meet the market requirement, one needs to plan well, right from land preparation, seed quality, crop maintenance and timely harvest,� Mr. Homawoo said.