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Increasing cost of agric: Asesewa hosts meeting on research, challenges

BY: Haruna Yussif Wunpini
 Hilary Alagbo (arrowed), the Upper Manya Krobo District Director of Agriculture together with agric extension officers and local farmers at the event last Friday
Hilary Alagbo (arrowed), the Upper Manya Krobo District Director of Agriculture together with agric extension officers and local farmers at the event last Friday

The Upper Manya Krobo District Director of the Department of Agriculture, Hilary Alagbo, has bemoaned the current high prices of agricultural inputs and petroleum products in the district.

That he said, was the cause of the increasing rise in food prices which affected the ordinary Ghanaian, especially farmers.

However, he noted that agriculture continued to be the mainstay of the country’s economy in spite of challenges faced by the sector in recent times and must, therefore, be given the necessary attention to thrive.

Mr Alagbo said this at a day’s Research Extension Linkage Committee (RELC) Planning session at the district capital Asesewa, in the Eastern Region last Friday.

The event provided the opportunity for various stakeholders in agriculture in the district to deliberate on challengess confronting the sector and also come up with recommendations to address them.

Mr Alagbo said research played a vital role in turning the fortunes of farmers around if there was effective collaboration between research institutions, extension service organisations and farmers.

He stated that over the years, research institutions tirelessly worked to control pests and diseases and also provided drought-tolerant varieties of crops and breeds of livestock as well as fishes.

That, according to him, led to an increase in the yields of crops and a number of animals, which improved incomes and livelihoods of farmers.

Mr Alagbo reminded the participants that it was extremely difficult to operate in isolation if one wanted to succeed; as such they should contact his outfit for the necessary guidance and support.

He, therefore, urged them to ensure an effective feedback mechanism between them and extension officers to further improve technology dissemination.

Form groups

The chairperson for the occasion, Walter Kwadzo Drayi, entreated the participants to take advantage of the department’s value chain approach to agriculture in the district, to form groups among the various categories of farmers for business purposes.

That, he explained, would help solve their problems and secure assistance for their mutual benefits.

Some of the participants told the Daily Graphic that climate change in the form of irregular rainfall distribution, long dry season, poor road network, lack of ready market for their produce and activities of nomadic herdsmen were some of their challenges.

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