Sunyani, Sept. 09, GNA – Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, has advised farmers to form cooperatives and set uniformed prices for their food produce to better their socio-economic livelihoods.
She however, cautioned farmers against misapplication of agro-chemicals that could lead to food poisoning, and instead seek technical knowledge for the right application of fertilizers and pesticides.
The Regional Minister gave the advice when she addressed a forum organised by the Sunyani Municipal Directorate of Agriculture in Sunyani and attended by farmers and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
It was aimed at creating a common platform for the farmers and Agriculture Extension Agents (AEAs) to identify and deliberate on pertinent issues affecting the farmers in the Municipality.
Madam Owusu-Banahene indicated farming remained a lucrative business, but because there were no uniformed prices for food produce, traders capitalized on that and bought food stuffs from farmers at farm gates at cheaper prices.
She said the only way farmers could set uniformed prices for their produce was for them to come together and form associations, saying that would also enable them to easily access financial support to engage in commercial farming.
Madam Owusu-Banahene admitted the myriads of challenges farmers were going through and said government was also working strenuously to addressing some of those challenges and provide them with other incentives.
She said difficulties in accessing loans, erratic rains, post-harvest losses as well as inadequate AEAs as some of the challenges that the government was working to address.
Madam Owusu-Banahene told the farmers misapplication of agro-chemicals had huge health hazards, and advised them to also consider applying organic manure for cost-reduction and improved yields.
Mr. Ofosu Denkyira, the Sunyani Municipal Director of Agriculture advised the farmers to heed the advice of AEAs to improve on their farming activities.