Kwabia Owusu-Mensah, GNA
Domeabra, (Ash), June 11, GNA – An expert in farming systems has called for continuous education and training to build the capacities of farmers to improve farming and increase agricultural production in the country.
Dr Noah Owusu-Takyi, President of the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture (KITA) said education and training were key to promote the adoption of best farming practices to increase agricultural production in the country.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Domeabra, in the Ejisu Municipality on Monday, Dr Owusu-Takyi, said increased agricultural production was the surest way to guarantee national food security and improve the incomes, of not only the farmers, but all those along the value chain.
He attributed Ghanaians attitude towards farming and agriculture, as well as lack of favourable and comprehensive state policy for agriculture, as some of the challenges facing the sector.
Dr Owusu-Takyi said it was important for certain facilities to be put in place to motivate farmers and encourage increased food production in the country.
He said it was important to have a guaranteed market systems, such as shopping malls, cooperatives and others to assure farmers of ready market for their produce.
There should also be an establishment of strong farmer-based organizations for the formulation and implementation of policies as well as the distribution of farm inputs at all levels.
Dr Owusu-Takyi said farmer-based organizations should be strengthened at all levels to play effective advocacy roles in the adoption of new technologies and practices in their activities.
He said KITA, which was established in 1984, has trained more than 2,000 graduates, most of whom had won various awards in their farming activities.
Dr Owusu-Takyi, stressed the need to build the capacities of farmers, especially, small-holder farmers to increase their crop yields and incomes to reduce poverty in rural communities.