Yussif Ibrahim, GNA
Kumasi, Jan. 25, GNA – The Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers (GhaFFap) is calling for policy initiatives to specifically support smallholder farmers to improve yield and maximize profit.
The Federation which is made up of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs) drawn from three ecological zones of Ghana – the Savannah, Transition and Forest zones, has a membership of 167,837.
It seeks to, among other things, ensure a collective voice for forest and farm producers and also serve as a platform in advocating a conducive forest and farm policies and laws in Ghana.
Participants at a media engagement to throw more light on the activities, mission and vision of the Federation in Kumasi, underlined the need for policy makers in the agriculture sector to address the numerous challenges facing smallholder farmers.
They particularly expressed grave concern about the lack of access to land and unfavorable land tenure systems that continued to militate against their farming activities.
Access to extension services and farm inputs such as fertilizers, seeds and pesticides was also thoroughly discussed with participants making a strong case for their availability.
Poor road network was also identified as a major challenge in transporting farm produce to market centres after toiling to cultivate their crops.
They also bemoaned lack of storage facilities and the capacity to add value to their produce when glut occurs, a situation that leads to low prices and loss of investments.
It is against this background that members of the Federation want government to introduce specific policy interventions to address their challenges to boost their farming activities.
Mr. Benjamin Sarfo, Field Officer of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) which is the umbrella body of the Federation, said the formation of GhaFFaP was influenced by the desire of members to maximize their strength in numbers towards building strong and profitable forest and farm based businesses.
He said GhaFFaP would also contribute to shape national policies for sustainable development and promote climate resilience landscape across the three ecological zones in Ghana.
The Federation, he said, would officially be launched in March and opened to all FFPOs in Ghana that shared its objectives.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) is supporting the Federation through its Forest and Farm Facility Programme.