Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dr. Kwame Amezah
Dr. Kwame Amezah, Director of the Extension Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), has called for more extension officers to bridge the gap in the agriculture sector.

According to him, the current farmer to extension officer ratio, which is about 1,500:1 falls far below requirement by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN).

The FAO requires that the ratio of extension officers to farmers should be 1: 500.

Dr. Amezah, who was speaking at the Agricultural Extension Policy Forum in Accra said, “The ratio depends on what you are looking at but currently it is one extension officer to 1,500 farmers.

He said the Ministry was unable to employ more extension officers to assist farmers across the country because of a ban on public sector employment.

Dr. Amezah said MOFA had embarked on a project to build the capacity of the private sector extension officers to ensure that farmers gain sufficient knowledge on new farming techniques.

“MOFA has the responsibility to make sure that farmers have knowledge to go to the farm. We are getting money from the donor bodies to help us train private sector extension providers so together we can deploy more extension service to the farmers. These are the ways we are trying to bridge the low numbers,” he stated.

He disclosed that as part of measures to help resolve the situation, MOFA had adopted technology to help address the demands of the farmers.

“A lot of people now own smartphones and if my extension staff are on Whatsapp platform, there is nothing I cannot send to them. I can even do the training on Whatsapp.


“If you register your farmer with the telecommunication networks, you can also send audios to the farmer during the farming season. You can send the required farming technology once you have their numbers,” Dr. Amezah said.

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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