The 2014 Best National Farmer, George Asamoah Amakwaah has told government that if it indeed wants Ghanaians to eat what they grow, then it must put measures in place to curb the importation of food into the country.
The situation, according to him, is negatively affecting local farmers and food processors who are making huge losses.
In his address, Mr. Asamoah Amakwaah noted that the theme for the 2014 National Farmers Day celebration; “Eat what we grow” is very appropriate since it comes at a time “when rising import cost is driving inflation pressures on the cedi and causing competitiveness challenges for local food producers and processors.”
He mentioned that if the government is advocating for the patronage of made in Ghana goods and eating what is grown in Ghana, “then the appropriate measures need to be taken to address some of the challenges farmers are confronted with.”
The 2014 Best National Farmer admitted that the government and other stakeholders have in diverse ways contributed immensely to helping farmers but asked for more coordinated efforts to help the sector develop.
He advocated for the creating of a special fund to “solely assist developers to aggressively reverse this trend of deforestation.”
According to him, the Forest Plantation Development fund which was set up by an Act of Parliament in 2002 does not offer the requisite funding for the large scale afforestation.
Mr. Asamoah Amakwaah further implored government to outsource the tree growing component of Savannah Accelerated Authority (SADA) to the Private Afforestation Development Organization (PADO) for the effective implementation of within the SADA zone
He said PADO has over the years displayed competence to successfully grow trees.
He also urged the media to allocate time and resources to the coverage of forest conservation and associated challenges to food production to drum home the necessary awareness and action.