COVID-19: PFAG is working to keep farmers safe

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The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), a Farmer Based Organisation, has begun building the capacity of selected Agric Extension Officers across the country to understand the World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 Safety Protocols and adopt the knowledge acquired for the purpose of educating farmers.

Amid COVID-19, the training is being offered by officials from the Health Directorate.

The training beneficiaries were taken through how to clean farming implements, how to identify symptoms of coronavirus, what to do if one suspects somebody of being infected, what to do if a farmer begins to feel unwell, how to protect oneself against COVID-19, develop action plans and prepare smallholder farmers toward heathy farming practices amid COVID-19.

PFAG is organising the training in partnership with International Budget Partnership (IBP) and Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers (GhaFFaP), under the support of global efforts to protect the farmers’ initiative that seeks to ensure food production is sustained by increasing COVID-19 awareness levels among farmers in Ghana through sensitisation.

This move can help ramp up food production to mitigate effects of COVID-19 on the agricultural sector.

“Our inability to produce enough food to meet demand during this pandemic will create food insecurity for the country,” said a former board member of PFAG, Asiedu Biney.

“As a food producing country, we cannot survive this pandemic if our smallholders fail to sustain our food production because they fear getting infected. Our farmers cannot afford to be left out of education and PPE donations that are taking place nearly everywhere. That is why PFAG with support from IBP is helping the farmers to continue working in order for food requirements of the nation are met during this crucial time,” Mr. Biney added.

“We have been able to procure some Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) – including quantities of face masks, Veronica buckets, hand sanitisers, tissue towels, liquid soap, washing bowls, dustbins, detergents and other items for our farmers to help protect themselves against the coronavirus disease. “It is refreshing to learn that participants were highly excited about the timeliness of the training,” he added.

He appealed for government to support PFAG with resources to expand the education outreach.

Receiving the items on behalf of the Assembly, Rose Mensah-a Storekeeper Officer at the Agric Department, expressed gratitude to PFAG for taking care of their needs at this important time. “We appreciate it, and we will make good use of them,” she acknowledged.

Commending the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana and International Budget Partnership for the initiative, Mabel Djerakor – an Agric Extension Officer with the Kadjebi District Agric Department, a beneficiary of the training – said they are pleased with the training and thanked PFAG for facilitating it.

“The training was very useful. It has equipped me with knowledge on how farmers can safely carry out their farming activities without risking their lives and those of other farmers,” she noted.

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