8 with Good Results, 5 Poor
ROPPA’s (Reseaux des Organizations Paysannes et de Produceteus de l’Afrique de l’ouest), a West African farmers’ Union 2017/2018 report on agro-forestry pastoral and fisheries campaign indicates that, out of 13 countries monitored on the performance of family farm, eight had good results while five had poor results.
Several factors including lack of access to quality inputs, limited extension services, lack of or limited agricultural lending, land accessibility, lack of market, climate change effects and many other constraints are still hampering the performance of family farms in West African countries, including Togo, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Ghana, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger, Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Mauritania, the report stated.
According to the report, some countries with good agricultural results include, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin while the one with poor result are, Niger, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The report was revealed during a workshop held recently in Ganta, Nimba County, where eight farmers’ platform from member countries met to review and assess the performance of family farms.
The main objective of the workshop was to finalize the drafting of the regional report on situation of agro-forestry pastoral and fisheries 2017/2018 campaign and assess the monitoring of the 2018/2019 campaign.
Speaking to the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview, the honorary president of ROPPA, Mamadou Cissokho said that his organization considers strongly challenges facing West African farmers and called on West African leaders to invest more in to agriculture to improve the lives of subsistence farmers.
He said that West African countries cannot reduce the prices for food products when local production processes are not prioritized through increased investment.
According to him, the continent of Africa is still experiencing what he described as “food colonization” due to the huge importation of food by governments.
“We cannot reduce food prices when we are still depending on Europe to supply us. West Africa, especially has the potential to produce its own food to feed the world. This is why, we have established ROPPA to advocate for needed support for agriculture”, he said.
For his part, national coordinator of the Farmer Union Network of Liberia (FUN), Julius Bass, said despite the Ebola crisis that greatly affected agriculture, the country is exceptionally performing toward food production.
He said that FUN is working with ROPPA to gather data on the performance of family farms that government can use to translate necessary policies to improve agriculture.
Mr. Bass however, said the lack of funding is serving as a hindrance in monitoring or gathering data on the activities of farmers across Liberia.