Exclude Agric Ministry from 20% budget cut, subsidize inputs for us – peasant farmers.

The Peasant Farmers Association has petitioned the government to exempt the Agriculture Ministry from the 20% budget cuts that would be implemented this year.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, had previously stated that the cut was necessary due to the current economic difficulties.

According to the association, farmers are already experiencing the pain of a reduction in the fertilizer price subsidy, which is negatively harming some vital crops like maize.

Charles Nyaba, the Association’s Executive Director, has warned that if the government does not subsidise agricultural inputs, the country could face food insecurity.

“Ministry of Food and Agriculture should be excluded. Even though government is facing difficulties, when UTAG members stayed in the house for more than one month, government found money to top up for them to go back to the classroom.

“We are talking about food security. We are suggesting that no matter how hard it is for government, they should find money and subsidize inputs for farmers. We are doing this not just for the farmer; we are doing this for the ordinary consumer,” he said.

Mr Nyaba stated that farmers’ inability to obtain fertiliser is causing a shortage of cereals and legumes such as maize and rice.

He encourages Ghanaians to switch from eating such foods to eating tubers.

“Even though we are talking about food shortages, our predictions are based on cereals and legumes. These commodities depend so much on the use of agro-chemicals and fertilizer but when you take commodities like cassava and plantain, they do not actually depend so much on fertilizer.

“Our suggestion is that all of us should actually change our taste and begin eating more of tubers, cassava and related commodities. If we do that, then the pressure on maize and rice would have gone down,” he added.

Source: myjoyonline.com

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