Former President Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has in a statement to mark Farmers Day called on the government to institute a policy that will prioritise the development of access roads to farming areas to prevent the perennial problem of farming produce being left to rot away.
He said to encourage more people to stay in farming and attract others, incentives such as good roads, tax holidays; discounted implements and soft loans should be made readily available.
Flt Lt Rawlings said it was disappointing to hear reports of farm produce rotting away in the hinterland because of bad and inaccessible roads and the resultant exorbitant charges by transport operators.
He reiterated his call last year for a process to be put in place to ensure that all farmers are given the opportunity to adapt to new technology to improve the quality and quantity of their produce.
The former President lamented the fact that the cocoa industry which has largely supported Ghana’s economy for decades is currently rid with corruption inherited from the previous government and called for a strong effort by the government to ensure that greedy individuals do not derail the efforts made by hard working farmers to sustain the industry.
Touching on the fishing industry the former president said the industry will be completely destroyed if efforts are not made to stem the increasing pollution of our water bodies by the indiscriminate dumping of refuse and toxic material by both individuals and corporate institutions. He called on the relevant government institutions to urgently put in place mechanisms to stem the embarrassing situation that has also adversely affected Ghana’s tourism potential as far as the use of our seashores are concerned.
The former President congratulated farmers for their hard work and dedication to providing food for society despite the huge challenges they face.
“Your role is a patriotic one that is appreciated every time we have food placed on our table. We cannot thank you enough. We count on you to continue to dedicate your lives to this noble role,” the former President said.