Farmers in Bugbelle in the Sissala East District of Upper West Region have expressed worry over what they term various problems challenging the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs) programme.
The farmers, who described the PFJs programme intervention as a laudable initiative seeking to cut down widespread poverty particularly among rural farmers, said the numerous challenges arising thereof have affected the good policy.
Contributing to a Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) community durbar in the Sissala community, Madam Rahinatu Susolo, a farmer, said access to tractor, farm credit facilities and coupons for subsidized fertilizers as leading challenges confronting farmers in rural communities.
“The implementation 1V1D [one village one dam], 1V1W [one village one warehouse] and 1D1F [one district one factory] would help put the PFJsp olicy on a good standing”, she said.
The community durbar which centred on gender–responsive budgeting sought to analyze the diverse impact of national and local expenses and income policy on women and young girls as well as men and young boys.
Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, National Coordinator of GTLC, said gender-inclusiveness in the government policies such as PFJs, one village one dam, and one district one factory created an enabling environment for women participating in farming activities in rural areas.
He said GTLC has observed that: “on the PFJs many people are not benefiting from it concerning access to fertilizers, tractors for ploughing and subsidized seeds in the farming process”.
Mr Seidu Alhassan Tia, a Person with Disability (PWD) and cobbler, complained about lack of access to the PWDs share of the district assembly common fund that could help the disabled community to engage in the PFJs programme.
He called for a specific PFJs policy for PWDs to access inputs and other facilities that would empower them to engage in activities under government’s food and jobs initiative seeking to boost incomes of farmers, create job opportunities and mitigate poverty.
Mr Emmanuel Wullingdool, Policy Officer of GTLC, said stakeholders are expecting government to allocate significant expenditures to the PFJ in the 2019 budget planned to be submitted to parliament in less than two weeks from now.
He expressed worry that the issues of ploughing and financial support was not part in the PFJs policy but it has become a very critical subject to farmers and needed to be dealt with expeditiously.