GHANA: Government should rejuvenate the cotton industry

ACCRA: The farmers have urged the government to establish a Fund to provide medium and long term credit to them to expand the support base for agricultural production. It should be for land acquisition, credit assistance, supply of inputs and provision of food storage facilities nationwide jointly managed by Farmers' Associations for the benefit of their members.

Mr Philip Abayori, President of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association, made the call at a farmers' forum at Wa in the Upper West Region.

The forum, the first of its kind by the Association in the region, deliberated on issues affecting agricultural production, marketing, storage, finance and other problems confronting farmers.

Mr Abayori said the Association was to hold discussions with the Government on how to rejuvenate the Cotton Industry in the country. He noted that the industry had almost collapsed in the country and said that while Burkina Faso exported 825,000 metric tonnes last year, Ghana produced only 6,000 metric tonnes.

Mr Abayori observed that the industry provided a very fertile avenue for employment and increased family Incomes in the three Northern Regions in the past and regretted that its demise had contributed significantly to the poverty in the area. The government should sell the 48 percent shares it wishes to offload to farmers and fisherman only, he said.

Mr George Hikah Benson, Upper West Regional Minster, advised members of the Association to impart their skills and experiences to less privileged farmers to ensure sustainable food security. He urged the Association to maintain the good relationship between the members and the Government.

Mr Mark Hansen, Acting Regional Director of Agriculture, announced that the authorities in Burkina Faso were in the process of spilling excess water from their dams and advised farmers in the region to report any unusual flow of water to Agricultural Officers for advice.

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Added: September 3, 2007 Source: Agencies
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