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Ghanaian cotton farmers face scarcity of tractors
Jun '11
The shortage of tractors needed for ploughing cotton fields in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions of Ghana has been severely condemned by the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of the Trades Union Congress.

This has rendered a majority of the farmers uncertain regarding their current year's productivity. The Union demanded that the Government should either provide tractor facilities to cotton growers or mediate with the cotton firms to arrive at a solution to the issue, so that the production targets can be met.

At a one-day capacity building workshop held in Tamale, for cotton farmers of the three regions, Karim Saagbul, Programme Officer of GAWU, voiced his concern regarding the issue. The objective of the workshop was to develop various skills of cotton growers including understanding of Government's policy, and organizing farmers in groups for better networking and to boost their productivity.

Mr. Saagbul disclosed that the Government had purchased some tractors for cotton cultivators, but added that they are not enough. Also, these tractors were mostly available at the agricultural mechanisation centres, where it was not possible for many farmers to take advantage of the services.

He further revealed that under the Government's new policy aimed at increasing cotton production, the entire North zone has been divided into three sub-zones and three different companies - namely Olam, Wienco and Armajaro - have each been asked to take care of different zones.

Mr. Abdul-Rahman Mohammed, National President of Cotton Farmers Division of GAWU, said that “cotton ploughing is a time-bound process and the month of June is usually the ploughing month, and any delay may adversely affect the yield of cotton.”

Stating that the ploughing problem exists in the three regions, Mr. Mohammed urged the Government to help the cotton cultivators, particularly in the Northern region, as cotton is a cash crop that has a potential to alleviate poverty in the region.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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