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Upper West Hit By Food Shortage

2006-03-06 16:20:05
This article has been read 868 times.

THE Upper West Region is experiencing a food shortage as a result of bad weather and poor rainfall pattern that greatly affected crop yield during the last farming season.

The region will require about 19,000 tonnes of food aid to make up for the shortfall, Emmanuel Eledi, Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, said at the outdooring of 24 tractors received for distribution to farmers here on Wednesday.

It is the first batch of a consignment for farmers in the region as a measure to boost food production.

He said a survey conducted by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) last December, revealed that the region recorded a shortfall of 1,500 tonnes of maize, 3,600 tonnes of millet and about 3,000 tonnes of sorghum.

Rice and yam recorded deficits of 9,000 and 2,800 tonnes respectively.

Mr Eledi appealed to the government and the donor community to come to the aid of the region to save it from its predicament.

Turning to the tractors, he commended the Regional Minister, Ambrose Dery for his personal effort in securing the first batch of consignment for the farmers of the region.

He said the regional MOFA had so far received 56 applications for tractors and hoped that the others would get their allocation soon.

He expressed concern at the high cost of ploughing farm lands, which ranged between ¢220,000 and ¢240,000 last year and pleaded with the beneficiaries to come together and revise the rates downwards to enable peasant farmers to have access to tractor services to increase their production.

The Regional Minister, Ambrose Dery, said that agriculture was the mainstay of the people of the Upper West Region and every effort should be made to promote it and to ensure food sufficiency.

He urged the people to take advantage of the President Special Initiatives in the agriculture sector to better their lot.

Mr John Donkor a beneficiary, commended the government for the initiative and promised that they would work hard to pay off the cost of the tractors and increase food production in the region.

source: Times

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