A non-profit making organisation, As I Grow, has been providing lifeline programmes, donations and activities to help deprived rural communities in the country in terms of education, women empowerment, water and sanitation, youth development, and agricultural improvements.
The Chief Executive Officer of As I Grow, Isaac Debrah Bekoe, narrated to the Daily Statesman the harrowing ordeal farmers in deprived communities go through on a daily basis, which invariably affects agricultural productivity adversely.
Some of the major challenges militating against agriculture in these areas, according to Mr. Debrah Bekoe, are the lack of farming equipment, such as spraying machines, simple farm tools (matchetes, homes cutlasses), access to machinery such as harvesters, planters and ploughing machines, access to information on farming methods, inaccessible roads and unavailability of markets for their farm produce.
Mr Debrah Bekoe observed that these issues had drastically reduced agricultural production in these rural areas. He pointed out that in few years to come Ghana might not enough food to feed the population as a result of unequal growth in the population compared to productivity.
“The cities are chocked with no agricultural lands, hence famine may set in if the government, institutions and NGOs and all well-meaning Ghanaians do not act swiftly to reverse the situation,” he said.
According to him, a survey conducted by his NGO revealed that most farmers had reduced production as a result of these constraints. He therefore made a passionate call on the government to tighten up it measures in ensuring equal resource distribution to farmers.
He commended government for its efforts at developing and promoting the agriculture sector, but emphasised the need to do more to ensure that the sector takes its rightful place in the country’s economy.