Rice Farmers in Dorkploame Klotekpo, a farming community in the South Tongu District have appealed to the government to assist them to expand their yields and keep them in business.
Mr James Agbalenyo, the Chairman of Dorkploame Klotekpo Rice Farmers Association said there were lot of challenges the rice farmers went through before producing their over 4,00 sacks for the market.
He told Ghana News Agency there were no dams in the district, and this made farming activities difficult for them when the rain failed, adding, “the exorbitant increase in prices of chemicals and fertilizers have made rice farming difficult with the cost ranging from GHC20 to GHC420.”
Mr Agbalenyo said he has not realised any government assistance in the past 15 years he has been in rice farming and called on the government to assist solve their problems since there is an increase in demand for rice because of the festive seasons.
He also encouraged the youth to venture into agriculture, especially rice farming since it has become a lucrative avenue despite the government’s neglect.
“We would have made money out of rice farming if we were introduced to it later because this has been my 15th year in rice farming and I have no regret apart from the support which do not receive,” he said.
Mr Solomon Korbla Dotse, a rice farmer and a member of the Dorkploarme Klotekpo Rice Farmers Association also added the difficulties he encountered in rice farming each season would not make him advise anyone to go into rice farming in the Volta Region.
“I have cultivated two acres of land for the past two years and would like to cultivate five acres this year and I would need about six bottles of weedicide to clear the land, unfortunately, a bottle of weedicide which used to be GHC16 last two years is now GHC60, how will a youth or a starter foot all these bills,” he asked.
Mr Dotse said despite the exorbitant prices of fertilizer, it had always been in shortage, adding “prices of the fertilizer have been increased without giving us any consideration, yet they don’t want to make it available.
“I could have cultivated over 300 acres of rice, and this would put me in a position to supply rice to the entire Volta Region as well as serve as a motivation to the youth. Unfortunately, there is no support, and it makes it difficult to achieve my dreams in rice farming,” he said.
Some youths also said though they complain about the unavailability of jobs, rice farming would be their last option because of how stressful it has been and how financially demanding it would be since the government does not regard their efforts.
By Stanley Awalime, GNA