The Department of Agriculture of the Central Municipality of Birim held its annual session of the Farmer Liaison Committee for Research Extension (RELC) to convey the constraints of farmers in research and solutions through the delivery agricultural extension services.
The RELC was established in 1994 by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to provide an approach to identifying the problems of farmers and agricultural activities.
It was also to describe different mechanisms that could be used to solve these problems.
Speaking at the RELC session held in Akim Oda, Mr. Isaac Mann, Director of Agriculture Department of Central Birim Municipality, said prior to the session, the department held a pre-RELC planning session for four operational areas of the municipality which served as preparation for the main RELC.
The main RELC session highlighted the results and successes of the constraints of the previous session (2019-2020).
In 2019, the department launched a marketing strategy that successfully marketed locally produced rice in the municipality.
In 2020, farmers received training from SOLIDARIDAD, a non-governmental organization, on good agricultural practices in oil palm production while the Minerals Commission provided the municipality with 120,000 oil palm seedlings.
Constraint issues affecting cereals and pulses, roots and tubers, vegetables, poultry and livestock, poor feeder road network, shortage of fertilizers, fungal infection, infestations of insects, virus infestations and the lack of improved stoves for palm oil processors were identified.
The recommendations made were that; the Department of Feeder Roads should rehabilitate roads, agricultural input companies should easily provide subsidized fertilizers, farmers should consult a veterinarian immediately, farmers should use recommended fungicides and disease-resistant seed varieties.
Mr. Daniel Agyei – Dwarko, Eastern Regional Coordinator of RELC and Deputy Executive Director of Oil Palm Research Institute – Kusi, advised farmers to contact soil researchers and agricultural extension officers , to help them know the fertility status of their soil and the type of fertilizer to use. use to promote high crop yield.
The planning session brought together farmers, food processors, agricultural extension workers and officials from the Central Municipal Assembly of Birim.