Agriculture minister pleads for E-Levy; said part would be used to support farmers

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However, he stressed that the strong opposition position of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the issue was of great concern.

Dr Afriyie Akoto made this claim when he visited one of the government-built warehouses in Gambaga in the North East region on his first day visiting the region as part of his 13-day tour in the northern sector.

The warehouse held thousands of tonnes of rice harvested for safe storage.

Prior to the warehouse visit, Dr Afriyie Akoto organized a durbar with stakeholders and farmers in the agricultural industry in the region, where he encouraged them to support government policies in the sector.

These, he said, included the Fertilizer Subsidy, Plantation for Food and Employment (PFJ), among others aimed at improving agricultural activities in the region.

Regarding the fertilizer shortage, he said the government was working hard to address it.

We are making arrangements to make sure farmers across the country have fertilizers to apply to their crops, he assured.

He explained that the problem arose due to the global shortage of fertilizers, adding that this resulted in an increase in the price of fertilizers.

He said, unfortunately Ghana does not produce fertilizer, however, added that the government has subsidized fertilizers for farmers by 50%. This facility, he said, began when the government launched its PFJ program.

While admitting that there were requests for warehouses, he said the unfinished ones will be dealt with as quickly as possible.

The minister also paid a courtesy visit to the overlord of the kingdom of Mamprugu, Naa Bohagu Mahami Abdulai Sherigu, at his Nayiri palace.

Naa Bohagu Mahami Abdulai Sherigu thanked the Minister and his directors for taking the time to visit his community.

He told how his older brother, who was an agricultural extension worker, had helped him with his farming activities.

He therefore challenged the agriculture minister to ensure that extension workers impart knowledge to farmers to improve their yields, adding that the region is one of the country’s main food baskets.

Speaking to reporters, Mamprusi West Municipal Executive (MCE) Chief Aremeyaw Somo Lucky Basiutaly, who spoke on behalf of farmers, mainly rice growers, spoke about some challenges that disrupt farmers.

These, he said, included the lack of electricity at the processing center and the lack of warehouses in the district for rice farmers.

He therefore appealed to the Minister to help resolve these challenges.

From the Mamprusi Overlord Palace, the Minister’s team visited the Presbyterian Agricultural Services of Lanbinsi Tenguri where he interacted with the women farmers and pledged to support their activities.

He then visited the Tamanaa rice factory located along the Tamale road where the raw rice was processed, packaged and sold to the end consumer or exported.

Story by: Alfred Asamoah, Nalerigu, Northeast Region

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