BY: Evans Attah Akangla | Voltaonlinegh.com|
The Paramount Chief of Ziope Traditional Area, Togbe Lawluvi VII, has voiced his concerns over the deplorable state of road networks in the Agortime-Ziope District of the Volta region, particularly in Ziope.
Speaking at the 39th District Farmers Day celebration held at Takuve, a farming community, Togbe Lawluvi highlighted the adverse impact of these road conditions on local farmers, leading to annual post-harvest losses in their tomato farms.
Emphasising the vulnerability of the highly perishable tomatoes, a staple crop for Ziope, Togbe Lawluvi called attention to the urgent need for road development. He announced plans for the traditional council to engage with the district assembly in the coming year to address this issue, specifically focusing on upgrading feeder roads crucial for facilitating farmers in the area.
Addressing the gathering, Togbe Lawluvi urged farmers to embrace modern technologies to enhance farming practices. He also called for the revival of the Tomatoes factory in the Agortime-Ziope district, citing the need for increased food supply and the importance of commemorating Farmers Day in the region.
In line with the celebration’s theme, “Deliver Smart Solutions for Sustainable Food Security and Resilience,” Togbe Lawluvi criticised existing agricultural policies, noting their preference for large-scale farmers. He underscored the ineffectiveness of such policies for small-scale farmers, urging the government to ensure proper implementation and enforcement.
Mr. Mawuli Abusa, the District Agric Director, provided insights into the district’s efforts to address post-harvest losses. He revealed plans for a cold chain facility, in collaboration with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), to add value to tomato production. Mr. Abusa highlighted the role of the second phase of the president’s flagship program, Planting for Food and Jobs, in promoting food security, export, and job creation.
The District Chief Executive, Madam Emilia Emefa Adzimah, stressed the need for allocating attention and resources to the agriculture sector. She emphasized the application of necessary technologies to ensure year-round food production and prevent post-harvest losses, contributing to overall food security within the district and the country.
Madam Adzimah further addressed environmental concerns, urging residents to avoid perennial bush burning. With support from the World Bank through the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GPSNP), she highlighted the district’s initiatives to plant citrus and coconut in ten communities, aiming to alleviate poverty, enhance productivity, and mitigate climate change challenges.
Togbe Azi Gafa III, Chief of Takuve, echoed the theme’s significance and expressed the pressing need for smart solutions to combat food scarcity and hunger. He outlined challenges faced by farmers, including diseases, lack of market access, and climate change effects. Togbe Azi Gafa III called for government intervention to provide practical solutions and support for the farming community, addressing the cost of modern farming machinery and climate change’s impact on agricultural activities in the area.