According to GNAFF, the agriculture sector has been characterized by a myriad of challenges that are lethal but the government seems not to have control over them.
One of the key issues the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the association, Nana Oboadie Opambour Bonsu mentioned during his submissions on Angel FM’s Anopa Bofoↄ show was the application of chemicals to crops.
He revealed that some farmers in certain communities across the country have been mixing weedicide with fertiliser for application to their crops, a situation he described as dangerous to the health of the consumer.
The PRO who doubles as President of Concerned Farmers Association of Ghana mentioned that some also excessively apply fertilizers to crops with the aim of scaling up their production, and though the practice has an adverse effect on the health of the consumer, the impact on the land is also great.
“If we are not careful, the whole country will become like the Savannah Region, like a desert, because the quantum of fertilizer we use is too much,” he said in Twi on the show hosted by Kofi Adom Nwanwani on February 7, 2022.
The concerned farmer on the latter point advised that “the government should finance the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to assess and tell us that [a particular land] needs no fertilizer” to save the country.
He also called on the Ministry of Health to be proactive in ensuring that the farming activities in the country are checked before matters get out of hand.
“If they [Ministry of Health] don’t get government to be serious with the farming activities in the country, the government will run at a loss, Ghana will not progress and we will fail because we will get sick and when that happens, the government will bear the cost under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and through other bills” he stated.
Criticizing the government for politicizing the affairs of the economy, he warned that the politician should not “forget that what you [the politician] will eat has vegetables. You can die, you can have food poisoning because you don’t know the source of the vegetables.”
Having said that, Nana Bonsu also advocated for intensified education of farmers on best practices to avert the threats their actions pose to the country and its citizens rather than focus on politics.
While calling on the Ghana Standards Authority to put practicable measures in place to check the quality of foods produced in the country, the PRO indicated that they are employing innovative technology to check the products on the market, as part of efforts to help the government stop the rot in the system.
“With the Consumer Innovative Security Market, whatever product a farmer is presenting comes with a tag which indicates the time of harvest and where it is from so that when someone consumes it and suffers some challenges we know where it is from,” he explained how the technology would function.
GNAFF being a major industry player and informed about the happenings in the farming industry, Nana Bonsu said it would only be appropriate that after all the years of their neglect, the government involves them in its decision-making process else “we will all suffer as a country.”