Accra, Sept. 14, GNA - The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) and its partners have appealed to government to resource the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) to enable them to respond to the plight of farmers affected by the Bagre dam spillage.
The PFAG, together with the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana and the General Agricultural Workers Union, also called on government to revamp the agro-industries in the affected areas to create jobs and improve the living standards of the farmers.
A statement issued in Accra by Ms Victoria Adongo, Executive Director of PFAG and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday said, government should identify the affected farmers and compensate them for the devastating loses.
It said the northern part of the country was predominantly involved in agricultural activities, in the absence manufacturing and industry, and it constitutes the food basket of the nation, but paradoxically, the three regions of the north remain the most poor.
It said the effect of these floods was huge, diverse, and well known, adding that, these floods destroy farmlands and displace farmers, which affect food production.
It said the devastation caused by the spillage was having a negative impact on the livelihood of the people in the downstream, who were predominantly smallholder farmers.
“It is sad that as farmers experienced low crops and livestock productivity due to limited water for farming activities, conscious efforts have not been made to contain the excess water from the perennial heavy downfall and the spillage of the Bagre Dam over the years, to augment agricultural productivity,” it added.
The statement said, “We believe that the annual combined ritual of the Bagre dam spillage and massive downpours can be turned into a blessing and put Ghana on a sustainable development path.”
It said the much talked about plans to build huge dams at Pwalugu and Bawku and the modernisation of the Tono and Vea irrigation dams in the Upper East Region should be implemented expeditiously.
The objective of these dams was to capture the excess water to prevent flooding and its attendant consequences and used for farming in the dry season.
It said the construction of these dams was in consonant with the government overall vision of modernising agriculture and agricultural productivity, however, it does not appear to them that government has immediate plans to construct these dams.
“We propose that the fund of the Ghana incentive-based risk sharing system for agricultural lending of GH¢500 million could be used to construct these dams,” it added.
The statement appealed to donor organizations, development partners and private institutions to extend a helping hand to the displaced victims, who need food, shelter and other forms of assistance.
It also called on government, as per the 2018 National Budget to establish a GH¢400 million fund to de-risk agriculture through sustainable agriculture financing and crop insurance schemes, to compensate farmers who have lost their farmlands to these floods.
It said this action would serve as an incentive for the affected farmers to go back to farming.
Some of the affected districts include Bawku West, Kassena Nankana East and West, Binduri and Talensi Districts in the Upper East; Sissala East, Nandom and Wa West in the Upper West Region and Karaga, East Gonja, Tolon Kumbungu, West Gonja, Savelugu, Nanton, East Mamprusi and West Mamprusi Districts in the Northern Region.