Long Drought Hit Upper East Region

Farmers in the Upper East Region are beginning to feel the effect of the long period of drought that is currently been experienced in the region at a time that should be the raining and farming season.

The raining season starts in May in the Northern part of Ghana for farmers to begin ploughing their farms for the farming season, however, the story is different this year. Today is the 27th of June and most farmers have not sowed yet because the rains are yet to come for the farming season.

Farmers in the Region have therefore thrown their hands in the air in despair as most Farmers whose crops have shot up and some maize crops at the tasseling stage are beginning to wither because of the lack of regular rainfalls couple with the hot sun.

Some farmers who have ploughed and sowed rice, early millet, groundnut, and other crops are also in a state of despair as they don’t know when the next drops will come.

In some parts of the region, farmers have not started ploughing their fields yet though they have prepared the farms. The only obstacle to their ploughing and sowing is the lack of rains.

In an interview with Word news, a farmer at Winkogo in the Talensi District, Mr. Joshua Asabire, revealed that his outfit and some of his colleagues have resorted to the use of water pumping machines to water their farms while hoping for the rains to come.

He disclosed that the only water closer to their farms is the main river which farmers in the area have to bear an extra cost to buy pump machines to water their fenced maize farms.

The stream also got dried up a few days ago as a result of the long drought.

The Upper East Regional focal person for Peasant Farmers, Rev John Akaribo, described the situation as a disaster to all farmers in the region.

He was quick to add that the government should be prepared to support poor farmers by enrolling them into the LEAP program to enable them to sustain their families.

Rev. Akaribo appealed to government to take a review of the ongoing construction of the One-Village-One-Dam project aimed at engaging farmers in dry season gardening.

He emphasized that when the flagship program is well implemented it will go a long way to reduce poverty among residents in the five regions of the north.

Rev.Akaribo has also called on farmers not to give up but link up with the Agricultural Extension officers to help them select food crops that have a short maturity period for this year’s farming season.

If the drought period continues till middle July, it will affect crop production severely in the Northern part of the country which serves as the food basket of the country.

The government’s planting for food and jobs will also suffer as all the inputs supplied to farmers in the form of seeds and fertilizer will be of no use to the farmers without the rains.

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