The system that bullies farmers

Kwame Abroquah e-Agronomist

My name is Kwame Abroquah your e-Agronomist. Some of my friends call me Kwame Agric because of my undiluted and infectious passion for farming and agriculture as a whole. As someone who received higher education and came back to the village to farm, many people have questions to ask. I have observed over the last five how we’ve created a system that bullies farmers. Right from government, we have consistently allocated less than 1% of our annual budget to agriculture even though the agriculture sector remains the highest employing sector with great potential to end youth unemployment. Agriculture contributes 20% to GDP and accounts for more than 25% of our export earnings.
Kwame Abroquah e-AgronomistSo WHY less than 1% of our budget? How much of these goes into formality and celebration? How much goes into improving the farming activities and living standards of the farmers? What invariably happens is the impoverishment of farmers.

I have seen farmers who can’t afford three square meal though they produce food, farmers who can’t afford clothing, education and health care. These are the results of the bullying we’ve created.

This has breed a generation who see farming unattractive because the cocoa farmer hardly has access to cocoa hospital or clinic, the guy on cocoa scholarship has never seen a cocoa tree yet we have average students from these poor producing communities whose dreams are cut off because the scholarships are for brilliant students.

We took huge loans in the name of farmers to build warehouses which the poor farmers do not have access. We have many agro-based companies and institutions sponsoring creative art projects forgetting farmers who are their major clients are drinking from streams. We think all must be done by government.

When it comes to agribusiness scale up funding, we look for Ag-tech and innovation build by people outside the system but believes their solution is what farmers need.

In recent times, COVID-19 directly and indirectly affected we farmers, nothing was done to support us.

The catastrophic blow of climate change in 2020 affected our farms, nothing was done to support farmers.

An unprecedented scarcity of fertilizer and an abnormal increase in it’s price in 2021, absolutely nothing was done for farmers.

Now in 2022, we are presented with an unbearable diesel price to power our tractors, a demonic rise in the prices of agrochemicals, a satanic fertilizer price and an thinkable price of manure.

Nobody speaks for the farmer. Yet the farmer ensures we have something eat at the end of day.

That is why the farmer is poor, we sacrifice everything to make sure there’s food in our country.

Credit:Samuel Abroquah
Sustainable Rural Agriculture Developer / Agro Impact Africa/ Agripreneur


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