An agricultural business expect and entrepreneur Alex Zoma Bokuma has said, the biggest challenge in this country is the over politicization of policies. Smallholder farmers make same argument regime after regime, it is not peculiar to one political regime.
He added that, National development is a laborious and pain sticking process that goes beyond regimes but if we tie our developing to regimes we will keep duplicating, making time and that is the reason this country cannot make head way. The National Development Planning Commission should lead these policies to transcend government’s not political populace driven programs. What is the national development planning commission doing? He quizzed.
According Alex Bokuma, as a country we need to tackle the issues of agriculture boldly, saying “I do not see a very well-coordinated strategy for national development using agriculture as a pillar. Our interventions are muddled between poverty alleviation and commercialization and I think the two should be differentiated. Poverty is a serious problem in the northern part of Ghana and upper west ranks poorest, we cannot box everything and everyone together and target all with the same strategy. We need a poverty alleviation strategy through agriculture where support will be provided for smallholder farmers’ one acre or two acres”.
if government want to commercialize and develop real agricultural value chains that will bring income to turn the economy around, they need to have a separate program commercializing agriculture and should target real meaningful farmers, farming is not about numbers is about technology so government need to target a group of farmers and give them the technology to improve on their production. Bokuma suggested.
The agric-business expert further indicated that, ‘gone are the days when you expected the youth to tilt the land using brute energy in the scorching sun, things have change’. The youth are expose to technology and you cannot continue to tell the youth to do hoe and cutlass farming. We need to mechanize and adopt the use of technology.
Mr Alex Bokuma said though Mechanization is expensive, for a start. Government can look at a District base mechanization centers which will be well equipped with all mechanization equipment from land preparation to planting and harvesting and available for rent. He said it could be done under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with commercialized minded farmers, who are doing well, to own the center and offer these services to other farmers.