Mr Isaac Djangma Vanderpuije, Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, said farmers in the region were confronted with limited land space to enable them to undertake serious agriculture production due to rapid urbanisation.
He said most of these farmers, who in the past cultivated large acres of land, were now seeing their farms shrunk due to rapid urbanisation and real estate development.
Mr Vanderpuije said this during the 30th Farmers Day celebration on the theme: “Eat What We Grow,” and expressed regret that some farmers now resorted to farming on marginal lands along railways, under pylons and institutional lands.
He said the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) were negotiating with some land owners in the neighbouring municipalities to acquire 500 acres of land to enable Accra Metro farmers to cultivate crops not only for local consumption but also for export.
The Deputy Regional Minister said government recognised the need to encourage the eating of what the country produced as part of the drive towards the attainment of the Better Ghana Agenda and achieving the Millennium Development Goal-1of ending hunger.
Mr Vanderpuije said the National Food Buffer Stock Company was set up to buy from farmers food crops at the right prices during bumper harvest seasons for storage and later sold to the public.
He said government, through the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, was making frantic efforts to upgrade all landing beaches so that fishermen could have modern facilities to store their fish during bumper seasons.
“Provision of free fingerlings to fish farmers to supplement fishery resources from the marine sector were some of measures being taken while AMA and MOFA are encouraging people to take up fish farming as an income earning venture,” he said.
Mr Edward L. Konney, Accra Metropolitan Director of MoFA, expressed regret that the low income of farmers and fishermen was due to low patronage of their produce.
He said low patronage of locally produced goods was one of the major setbacks in agriculture which needed to be addressed holistically by all stakeholders, adding; “it is about time Ghanaians nib this negative attitude in the bud and patronise what is produced here.”
Mr Ali Yussif was adjudged the overall best farmer for the Accra Metropolitan Area.
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