Farmers want unenthused about attachment of seeds to fertilizer subsidy.
Bolgatanga- Peasant farmers in the Upper East Region have bemoaned the attachment of seeds supply to fertilizer subsidy being implemented under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
Mr Charles Nyaaba, Programme Officer, at the Peasant Farmers Association who spoke in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) noted that there were challenges of poor germination associated with the seeds and added that most farmers were able to produce seeds and supply to other farmers in the region; a practice they had lived with for a long time.
He said the quality of most seeds supplied under the implementation of the planting for food and jobs did not meet expectation of farmers since germination was poor.
He indicated that the Association suspected that some of the seeds were a mixture of variety of crops which resulted in most farmers experiencing uneven maturity from the seeds supplied as certified seeds under the programme.
Mr Nyaaba reiterated the need for government to empower local farmers to produce the seeds on large scale and be able to supply to farmers.
Speaking about the fertilizer supply to farmers in the 2018 cropping season, the Programme Officer said more farmers were unable to access fertilizer, especially in areas where seeds were strongly a requirement to fertilizer supply.
He said even though the subsidised fertilizer was sold at GHC68.00 most farmers could not afford.
He blamed this on contradictory information between MoFA and its District Directors and indicated that most farmers had not had adequate information on the programme and stressed that more education needed to be done on the programme.
Ms Safiatu Yakubu, Assistant Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the Regional Directorate of MoFA, also in an interview confirmed receipt of complaints from farmers against the seeds and said as a result of the complaints from some farmers her outfit allowed farmers the option to buy the seeds at their own free will and did not make it compulsory.
She said 8,000 booklets of compound fertilizer and 2,000 booklets of Uriah totaling 10,000 booklets extrapolated at 500,000 bags were received at the beginning of the cropping season to be distributed to farmers under the coupon system.
Ms Yakubu, said several seed varieties were received including 7,400 mini Bags of maize seeds, out of which 2,300 bags were distributed, 2,400 out of 7,400 mini bags of rice seeds were distributed at end of July, while out of 1,600 soya beans, 113 bags were distributed at the same period.
Source: Ghana News Agency