Lack of farmers involvement in agricultural policy formulation is weakening Ghana’s agricultural growth.
As key actors and stakeholders in the agricultural transformational agenda, we are left out in the policy formulation process at the national levels. This according to the farmers, is having adverse effects on the country’s agricultural performance.
Speaking on Oyerepa 100.7 fm Agriculture segment on the morning show on Wednesdays, Mr. George Asamoah Amankwa, the 2014 National Best Farmer, heavy-heartedly said, this development has put farmers in this country in an awkward moment and nearly impacting negatively on their farm produce.
According to him, government policies towards the agric sector is not benefiting the real actors in the field but rather benefits stakeholders who are not actively engaged in practical farming.
‘’Since we don’t have any say in the policy formulation programmes for the agriculture sector, farmers do not benefit from their sweat. The situation worsens the plight of smallholder farmers in the country’’, he said.
Mr. Asamoah, is, therefore, drawing the attention of the government and policy makers to design and formulate policies and programs that would transform the lives of Ghanaian smallholder farmers other than the usual way.
He is of the view that farmers participation in policy formulation programs stand to benefit the country at large, for the reason that, their integrated submissions and inputs would enhance the productivity growth and ability of farmers to earn sufficient income from their produce.
Many of these policies and programmes are not been implemented to see to the growth of the agricultural sector of the country, citing Medium Term Agricultural Sector Investment Plan (METASIP)1& II, and Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II) and the recently launched Agricultural Marshall Plan never seen the light of the day, due to financial constraints.
He tasked the government to design a policy that would end the low price and post-harvest losses from the abundant production during main crop seasons.
Advancing his case, the 2014 national best farmer, wished the district assemblies could build storage facilities or silos in their districts to relieve farmers from getting a low price for their farm produces.
Some government policies are designed to impact agriculture like the full implementation of its flagship program “Planting for Food and Jobs program’, yet farmers did not benefit from it, rather make farmers poorer, due to the low price for it.
In this vain, Mr. Asamoah, is entreating the government to take a second look at the program to make farmers richer instead of their usual living conditions.