Thousands register under Planting for Food and Jobs in Garu and Tempane districts

Garu (U/E)- About seventy thousand farmers have been registered under the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ)’ programme in the Garu and Tempane Districts in the Upper East Region for this year’s farming season.

The farmers would cultivate various crops including maize, rice, soya bean and groundnuts among others.

About 6,500 farmers have called for fertilizers for their farms as the soil fertility in the area has dropped due to climate change, bad weather conditions and bush burning.

Mr Dennis Asampambila, District Director of Agriculture in charge of Garu, who also oversees the Tempane District, said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.

Mr Asampambila said only 9.5 percent of the total number of farmers are benefiting from the fertilizer subsidy adding that efforts are being made by the directorate to acquire more stocks.

He said 300 acres of maize crops were destroyed during last year farming season by the fall army worm in the two districts adding that steps have been taken to forestall the situation.

Mr Asampambila said the directorate is challenged with a number of concerns which include staffing, logistics and transportation among others.

He appealed to government to step up with the recruitment of the 3,000 agricultural extension officers to help improve the prevailing situation.

He said when the fall army worm attacks a crop, it reduces the yields by about 30 percent and gave the assurance that the directorate would use scientific and traditional methods to address the disease should it reoccur.

Mr Dasmani Mohammed, a maize farmer from the Denugu community near Garu, said he was cultivating five acres of maize farm and has so far received ten bags of the NPK and Urea fertilizers and some chemicals to fight the fall army worm disease should it resurface.

He expressed satisfaction with the effort by government and other stakeholders to address the food insecurity situation in the country adding that as local farmers they would do their best to produce enough food to meet the needs of the society.

Source: Ghana News Agency