Maize Production Increased 10 per cent- Minister


Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture said the introduction of the Block Farm (BF) concept had increased maize production by 10 percent.

 “This direct intervention led to a quantum leap in the production of maize from the annual average of 1.47 million tonnes to 1.62 million tonnes in 2009,” he said.

Mr Ahwoi who was answering questions in parliament on Wednesday explained that the BF concept put farmers with geographically contiguous plots together and provide them tractor services, improved seeds, agro-chemicals, fertilizers and extension services.

He said from this harvest, the ministry had placed 4000 metric tonnes of maize made up of recoveries from BF farmers in reserves at various warehouses across the country.

He noted that the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFFCO) was currently buying up all excess stocks of paddy rice and maize from the farmers.

“So far NAFFCO has bought 8500 metric tonnes of paddy rice and 100 metric tonnes of recoveries from the BF farmers,” he said adding that the exercise was ongoing.

“This aggressive intervention by NAFFCO has produced the additional benefit of reducing post harvest losses, thus freeing farmers’ capital by giving them the fund needed to invest in further increased production this year,” he noted.

On irrigation, the Minister said government was in the process of engaging a contractor to de-silt 12 irrigation reservoirs in the country including the Okyereko Irrigation facility which according to Mr Ekow Panyin Okyere Eduamoah member for Gomoa East needed expansion. 

Mr Ahwoi noted that currently the canal connecting the Ayensu River to the pump in-take point and the main reservoir of the Okyereko irrigation facility were heavily silted.