#Article (Archive)

The farmers have spoken

Nov 19, 2015, 9:36 AM

Farmers in the country have spoken loud and clear regarding some of the constraints they are faced with in carrying out good cultivation and realising substantial harvest or yield.

Foremost among them is water shortage for agricultural purposes during the dry season, as reported in our lead story yesterday.

They said they are also in need of tractors and other labour-saving equipment that would help them to do advanced farming in the country.

Regions like the West Coast, North Bank and Lower River were particular highlighted in the call for presidential intervention to solve the problems of farmers, as water is particularly a challenge in these parts of the country.

Having enough and deep boreholes can help in accessing water for both gardens and rice fields in the dry season, they also said.

Furthermore, they said there is a need for on-time accessibility and affordability of better quality seed varieties and fertilizers.

“If these farming materials and inputs are available to farmers, their difficulties will be greatly reduced,” the National Farmers’ Platform, the umbrella body of farmers in the country, has said. “We are assuring the President that if these materials are available to farmers there can be a boost in our farming activities.”

This call by the farmers is, indeed, timely as the nation is working hard to curtail the importation of rice into the country.

The nation on annual basis has been spending about US$50 million on rice importation from Thailand, India and Brazil, which still does not really cater for all and sundry in the course of one year.

It is said he who feels it, knows it, and since it is the farmers who are directly faced with the situation of a difficult farming process in the country, they therefore know better what is required to let them realize substantial farming and harvesting in the country.

The nation will also be in a position to realize our goal of stopping excessive importation with its ancillary problems, such as the desperate need of foreign currency such as the dollar and euro to meet particularly our rice import cover over the year.

It is quite essential to note that the farmers would really be “happy” about the ongoing presidential tour, because it would provide them the opportunity to meet the President and put across to him their concerns and problems.

More and increasing attention should be given to farmers of this country for the nation to make best use of our agricultural potential, as the well-being of the agricultural sector determines the well-being of all other sectors of our country and economy.

“ Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower