KINTAMPO: Deputy Minister acquaint himself with the impact of Covid-19 on agriculture
The Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Augustin Collins Ntim has acquainted himself with the impact of Covid-19 on Agriculture, particularly the government’s flagship initiatives on agriculture.
Date Created : 5/21/2020 1:04:30 AM : Story Author : Rufina Yuoni/Ghanadistricts.com
His visit to the Kintampo Municipal Assembly became important as the novel coronavirus has basically brought every economic and social activity to a halt in almost all parts of the world.
Welcoming him to the municipality, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Kintampo, Michael Sarkodie Baffoe revealed that to facilitate agriculture service delivery, office space has been provided for the Veterinary with a two-bedroom accommodation being prepared.
He also emphasized the construction of a cattle ranch in the Municipality to curb future clashes between herdsmen and farmers and called for the deputy minister’s support.
Generally, he noted that, since the inception of Covid-19, ironically, a lot more people have engaged in farming and attributed it to the closure of schools and some business.
The MCE, Michael Sarkodie Baffoe
The highlights of a presentation on the impact of Covid-19 on agriculture made by the Municipal Director of Agric Service, Mr. Simon Yambor were, the major farming season was just setting in with uneven distribution of rainfall though farmers are busy preparing their lands for the cultivation of crops.
Sales of farm produce were also ongoing with no reported case of shortage or glut. However, Mr. Simon Yambor indicated that, due to the closure of boarders, buyers from neighboring countries are not coming. He said, for instance, the same time last year, over 7,000 metric tons of yam had been exported with 3,000 metric tons being the number of export presently.
He furnished the deputy minister with statistics on Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ), Planting for Exports and Rural Development (PERD), and Fall Army Worm (FAW) situation.
The Municipal Director of Agric indicated that Covid-19 had major effects on Extension Service delivery with farmers refusing to honour meetings with Agriculture Extension Agents (AEAS) due to Covid-19 which has resulted in utilizing more days to reach fewer farmers. According to Mr. Yambor funds have been affected as for instance his outfit has bad to procure horns to mount on vehicles for sensitization and cannot afford to pay to radio stations to use their channels.
Director of Agriculture Kintampo Municipality giving his Presentation
He also added that out of the 14 planned activities only 5 have been carried out. “Overall, scarcity of labour force due to boarder closure and restrictions on the movement of people and restrictions in movement of people resulting in a reduction in livestock movement are some general effects of Covid-19 on agriculture in the Municipality”.
He concluded his presentation by outlining some challenges of his outfit as a lack of funds, lack of accommodation for AEAs, delays in staff promotions, lack of roads leading to some farming communities.
The Deputy Minister, Mr. Ntim expressed his joy on how the Municipal Assembly had positioned itself in the fight against Covid-19. He said, “due to the protocols laid down by His Excellency the President, we envisage some levels of impact and thus this interactive session was highly necessary”.
Based on the statistics on government flagship initiatives on agriculture, he lauded the Municipal Assembly and said more could be done.
He asked for all hands on deck as the farming season was still young and called for the Municipal Chief Executive’s support of more agriculture programmes and initiatives.
Mr. Collins called for greater collaboration with media houses to adopt agriculture extension service education as part of their cooperate Social Responsibility. He promised to do more to help the Assembly acquire more agriculture implements and said the issue of cattle ranching was in an advanced stage of discussion. Finally, he tasked the MCE to address agriculture staff accommodation problems.