The meeting which is the first of its kind in the district and brought together major stakeholders and 655 farmers including 177 women, was aimed at addressing the challenges associated with the production of root or tuber crops in order to improve upon the fortunes of farmers.
The District Director of Agriculture for Nanumba South, Robert Asiedu, said the programme was a major step towards achieving a proactive interaction between stakeholders and farmers with the objective of increasing production of root and tuber crops and improving upon marketing strategies in the district.
He indicated that root and tuber production could be a major farming activity in the area if every effort is being made to produce quality roots and tubers from the area.
Mr. Asiedu, therefore, urged farmers especially women to take advantage of the government’s Youth in Agriculture Policy to better their lots.
The District Director further called on farmers to develop workable action plans that were capable of ensuring the sustainability of their farms as well as production to the standards that the district market required in order that they have premium prices for their produce on the country’s market.
The District Chief Executive for Nanumba South, Alhaji Seidu Amidu, said the workshop was an important milestone in the district’s march towards the acquisition of knowledge that would ensure efficient production of root and tuber crops for the benefit of the people.
According to him, the government is scaling up credit facilities for agricultural producers and that through the micro funding; the project will support small-scale root and tuber production such as cassava producers.
Alhaji Amidu appealed to female farmers to constitute themselves into groups in order to access a grant facility about GH¢2000.00 allocated for women farming in the area.
He commended farmers for their efforts at ensuring food security despite the enormous challenges they had to grapple with.
The Northern Regional Officer in-charge of Capacity Building and Linkages, Prince Fuseini Haruna, said the root and tuber improvement and marketing programme that was implemented in 1999 brought a lot of improvement in all the 60 districts then nationwide. Adding that a similar programme which is currently being sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is to run for 8 years.
Mr. Prince Haruna, stated that the goal of the programme is to enhance incomes and food security of farmers and their families and to build a market-based system to ensure profitability at all levels of the value chain.
He therefore, advised root and tuber farmers in the area to be committed to the course of the programme in order to achieve the relevant effective and sustainable service delivery mechanism that would go a long way to create an avenue for information, education and communication linkages that will also link small producers and processers to large scale markets.