The 2014 national best farmer, Mr. George Asamoah Amankwa, says agriculture is important and plays a central role in reducing poverty and hunger, yet Ghanaian farmers keep struggling due to lack of ready market and comprehensive policy to guide it.
According to the national best farmer, it is scary for Ghanaians to go into farming due to the risk incurring huge debt resulting among others from post harvest losses; lack of ready market and price standardization.
These are some of the impediments local farmers have had to face, he added.
He describe the situation as worrisome, noting that whereas advanced countries are engaging in all forms of modern methods of farming and technology to transform the face of rudimentary farming, the latter keeps to it.
Lack of comprehensive policy for agriculture is a key factor crippling the industry despite move by civil society groups to give facelift to the sector.
Mr. Asamoah, said government should step in to buy the produce from the farm centers.
He observed that farmers in the country incur losses during bumper harvest, and cited the case of water melon producers, where a large quantity of the juicy fruit go waste due to lack of storage facility and access to ready market.
“Farming in Ghana looks very less attractive these days and hardly would I champion for youth to go into it should the situation remain unchanged.”
He said “on the issue of financing and loans acquisitions, commercial banks don’t recognize farmers as a potential customer, since they don’t recognize you as potential customers they have no business or whatsoever with you, and again banks are not working with farmers, hence reluctant in lending them loans.”
He lamented that, commercial banks don’t accept farms as a form of collateral security, making it difficult for farmers to secure loans for mass production.
‘It is very disheartening that, the country and commercial banks have no comprehensive policy that supports farmers in the country.’