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Agric Extension Officers Under NABCO Must Reside In Communities

Government has been urged to take a second look at the recruitment of Agric Extension Officers under the NABCO program, by recruiting persons who will be ready to work and stay in the various communities where they will be posted to.

The Program Officer for Grameen-Ghana, Mugmin Issa, gave the advice at a stakeholder’s forum in the Nanumba North Municipality of the Northern Region.

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Grameen-Ghana is a non-governmental organization working in the two Nanumba Districts of the North Region in the area of nutrition and post-harvest losses under the SNV Voice for Change program.

SNV is a Netherlands Development organization working with civil society organizations in the country on advocacy on renewable Energy, Nutrition and water and sanitation.

Mr. Mugmin says the government’s plan to recruit Agricultural Extension Agents under the NABCO to complement the work of Ministry of Agriculture (MoFA) should be done by the departments of agriculture at the district level to ensure that people who would stay and work in the districts are selected.

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He also advised government to recruit products from the various agriculture colleges to be permanent rather than recruiting officers who will fade out after some few years when farmers begin to rely on them.

”It is better for government to consider recruiting products from the various agricultural colleges and pay them those salaries that would have been given to people under modernizing agriculture. The products from agric colleges are more suitable to do the work that is demanded by smallholder farmers.”

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Mugmin Issah bemoaned the fact that most of the agric extension officers are old and will be going on retirement, and called on government to urgently replace them in order to serve the situation.

He mentioned that a lot of smallholder farmers are unable to access the services of extension officers in the Nanumba North Municipality because there are only few of them.

He said the number of farmers is so high that one officer supervises over two thousand seven hundred farmers.

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“The number of farmers that the extension officers are supposed to supervise are so high that we have one extension officer to two thousand seven hundred and fourteen farmers. This implies that a lot of small holder farmers will miss out on the knowledge and technologies that are being promoted by the officers under the Planting for food and jobs and modernizing agriculture, and this could lead to exclusion of many of these poor farmers from benefiting.”

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