About 9,000 farmers have been enrolled onto the government flagship programme, the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs) in the Bawku Municipality of the Upper East Region this year.
This is an increase in the number of beneficiaries from the 7,500 farmers who benefited from the programme in 2019.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bawku, Mr Charles Akwotiga, the Municipal Director of Agriculture stated that all the farmers received their inputs and farming was progressing steadily this farming season.
He said apart from the subsidized fertilizer, which was distributed to the beneficiary farmers, improved seeds of hybrid maize, soyabeans, cowpea and rice among others had also been given to the farmers.
“They have increased the quantity of fertilizer for farmers, so if you go round my municipality, you would like the look of the maize crop. This year I have not had any farmer complaining of inability to get fertilizer or that the price is too high. We are hoping to get better yields than last year,” he said.
The Municipal Director said his outfit had more farmer groups under the PFJs to access financial support from Rural Banks, to enable them engage in effective farming and added that the farmer groups had increased from 32 in 2019 to 46 in 2020 and out of the 46 groups, 32 were women groups.
He said, “What encourages me is that women farmers have also had support from this PFJs, because women who hitherto would not have been able to buy even one bag of fertilizer have been supported. We have grouped these people and sent them to the rural banks and these banks have bought the inputs for them so that they will pay later after harvesting.”
Mr Akwotiga noted that the municipality was benefitting from the Rearing for Food and Jobs initiative with about 40 farmers from the area receiving 10 cockerels each.
He noted that 60 farmers had also been selected to benefit from the distribution of the small ruminants including; goats and sheep and each farmer was given five each.
He said all those benefitting from the rearing for food and jobs programme were trained to care for the animals to increase production.