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Farmers lament losses over poor seeds supply

Chairman of the National Farmers and Fishermen award winners Association, David Korboe

Some farmers who benefited from the supply of seeds under the Planting for Food and Jobs program, have begun counting their losses as it is emerging that they were supplied with grains rather than seeds for cultivation.

The situation the farmers say has left them desperate as they are unable to meet targets and sustain their operations.

This came up at a stakeholder forum, organized by the Ghana Canada Chamber of Commerce on attracting investments into the agribusiness sector.

The revelation comes barely a month that the Agric Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto touted the Planting for Food and Jobs program as having created some 745,000 jobs.

His Deputy, George Oduro corroborating the performance also suggested that the figure should improve this year with the additional funding support.

But the Chairman of the National Farmers and Fishermen award winners Association, David Korboe, tells Citi Business News that may be difficult considering the bitter experience with the supply of seeds.

“The seeds most of the farmers including myself were supplied with, comprised grains. Even though I bought seeds from some of the approved research centres, I could say that the products sold to either nuclear or out grower farmers, contained grains. Most of the sorghum seeds for instance were affected so we ended up harvesting chaff,” he lamented.

The development has also affected the contractual agreements between the farmers and their suppliers.

As Mr. Korboe explains, they have been compelled to appeal for new terms to be able to meet the demand as planned.

“I invested hugely; about 1,000 acres of sorghum and the tonnage that I was able to harvest is nothing to write home about… we have written to our major supplier, Guinness since we want them to grant us audience to talk about the general performance of the season.”

The latest twist also comes at a time where some seed suppliers have complained of unpaid cash after fulfilling their mandate.

It is unclear what may have led to this as the Agric Ministry is yet to comment on this latest development as attempts to reach them for a response have been unsuccessful.

Meanwhile the affected farmers are set to present an official petition to the Ministry for a reaction.

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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