The Department of Agriculture in the Birim Central Municipality has held its annual Research Extension farmer Linkage Committee (RELC ) session to convey constraints of farmers for research and solutions via agricultural extension service delivery.
The RELC was established in 1994 by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to outline an approach for identifying problems of farmers and farming activities.
It was also to describe different mechanisms that might be used to solve these problems.
Speaking at the RELC session held in Akim Oda, Mr Isaac Mann, the Director of Agriculture Department in Birim Central Municipality said before the session, the department organised Pre – RELC planning session for four operational zones in the Municipality which served as preparation for the main RELC.
The main RELC session highlighted outcomes and success stories from the previous ( 2019 – 2020) session constraints.
In 2019, the department initiated a marketing strategy that has been successful in the marketing of locally produced rice in the Municipality.
In 2020, farmers had training from SOLIDARIDAD a Non – Governmental Organisation on good agricultural practices in oil palm production while the Minerals Commission provided the Municipality with 120000 oil palm seedlings.
Issues of constraints cutting across the areas of cereal and legumes, roots and tubers, vegetables, poultry, and livestock, poor feeder road network, shortage of fertiliser, fungal infection, insect infestations, viral infestations, and lack of improved stoves for oil palm processors were identified.
Recommendations made were that; the Department of Feeder Roads should rehabilitate the roads, Agro Input companies should supply subsidised fertiliser readily, farmers should seek immediate veterinary advice, farmers should use recommended fungicide and disease-resistant seed varieties.
Mr Daniel Agyei – Dwarko, Eastern Regional RELC Coordinator also the Deputy Executive Director, Oil Palm Research Institute – Kusi, advised farmers to reach out to soil researchers and Agriculture Extension Agents, to help them know their soil fertility status and the kind of fertiliser to use to promote high crop yield.
The planning session brought together farmers, food processors, Agriculture Extension Agents, and officials from Birim Central Municipal Assembly.