Farmers in the Sissala East district who enjoyed the governments planting for food and jobs policy are urged to pay back the final cost of inputs to meet the 31 December deadline to enable timely planning for 2018, director of AGRIC Dr. Daniel Kuurinah emphasized. He said when farmers fail to pay the remaining debt, it will affect the 2018 releases of farm inputs on planting for food and Jobs policy and may as well affect the ability of more others including defaulting farmers to enjoy the program. Dr. Daniel Kuurinah said this on the 33rd national farmer’s day celebration of which the district level celebration was held in Chinchan and marked on the theme “farming for food and jobs”. He however congratulated farmers for their intense contribution by producing more food to feed the nation despite the fall armyworm invasion that affected farms but was however immediately controlled by the introduction of chemicals to conquer it. The Director of Agric in his speech disclosed that 3, 582 farmers benefited from the planting for food and jobs program of which 631 are females and distribution of 93,069 bags fertilizers for implementation of the program. Meanwhile, lack of requisite technical staff at the Sissala east district office of MOFA to discharge their duties remains a challenge and unfortunately one of the only two extension officers who serve the whole district will soon retire aside lack of staff accommodation, lack of ware houses for easy distribution of inputs and the lack of transport. The district also has only three veterinary agents Dr. Daniel Kuurinah disclosed. Daniel Kuurinah used the occasion to caution farmers about the environmental challenges such as bush fires, charcoal burning and activities of herdsmen that affect the rainfall pattern in the district and ensues to food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty.
BY DAVID LURI