Correspondence from Eastern Region:
Some District Best Farmers in the Eastern Region have bemoaned the high inconsistency of the climatic condition which is adversely affecting farming this year.
The farmers also expressed deep worries about the increasing menace of illegal mining and logging as well as indiscriminate bush burnings in most farming areas in the region.
According to the farmers, it has become extremely difficult for them to predict the weather of late and that if things continue this way, in addition to the illegal mining and logging, farming would be challenging and would lead to food shortage in the country.
In an interview with GhanaWeb, one of the farmers, Forster Oteng, who won the best district farmer prize in Brim North, said the issue of illegal mining (galamsay) is making farming difficult as all the once-fertile lands have become infertile for crop production due to the highly dangerous chemicals used for the mining.
“Galamsey is a great problem here. Recently, they even brought an escavator to dig my farm. I’m not afraid to say that even the Vanguard men, as well as some chiefs, were all part of the illegal mining. Collectively, we need to come together to deal with the galamsey.
“Another main thing disturbing farming in our area is lack of irrigation. It is worrying not having water readily available to water your crops and to mix with fertilisers to feed the crops,” he said.
Foster Oteng also intimated that “Most of us farmers and Ghanaians are uneducated about climate change. We seem to be unaware that the frequent felling of trees and the leasing of our lands for illegal mining as well as indiscriminate burnings are those causing the climate change.
“It is abnormal to see rains in harmattan season and this goes to greatly affect our farming all because of our bad attitudes and behaviours. The government should ensure agricultural laws are made to work.”
On his part, the best farmer in the Kwahu Afram Plains South District, Kwaku Dagati, also bemoaned that the incessant Fulani herdsmen activities have made farming cumbersome and as such are almost robbing the District of its longtime accolade as the “food basket of Ghana.”
“I planted 15 acres of beans, these cattle have come to eat all of them leaving me with a huge loss. It’s difficult to hold someone accountable because even the Fulani men do not understand our language.
“I reported to the chiefs, police and other agric committees but to no avail,” he said.
Another farmer, a past district best farmer in Afram Plains, Ben Kofi Addo, expressed that the vision of planting for food and jobs can fully become a reality if the government rises to check the Fulani herdsmen menace and illegal logging in the Afram Plains.