EBU dry season farmers lament water shortages
Garu and Bawku onion growers have called on the government to help address current water issues affecting onion cultivation and other dry season gardens in the region.
Farmers who increased production in the hope that the new dams under the “one village, one dam policy” would support their farms, said they were disappointed because of a drought, the dams dried up faster than expected, leaving them stranded as they could not get water for the vegetables.
Madam Salamtu Sumaila, a farmer from Garu who spoke in an interview with the Ghanaian News Agency, said that insufficient water supply to farms from the dams had affected the growth of their crops.
“I am not able to grow a lot of onions this year due to the lack of water. Even though there is vast land here, water determines the successful growth of crops, ”she said.
Ms Sumaila said growing the onion requires a lot of water and is also limited in time as they have to look after the crops from dawn to dusk to make sure that the stray cattle do not feed on the harvests.
Miss Esther Ayaaba, a dry season farmer from Bawku, said some farmers lost all their vegetables when the dam they depended on dried up.
She reiterated the importance of onion cultivation in the region: “Many of us depend on dry season agriculture for our income and this is what we use to feed our children, go to the countryside. ‘school and for their maintenance’.
She called on district assemblies and the government to build more dams, rehabilitate and expand existing ones, to allow them to hold more water to support dry season agriculture.
She also asked for pumps, fertilizers and credit facilities for
help farmers increase their production.
She said low prices for vegetables, especially onion, were another challenge farmers faced after the harvest.
“Although I would like to get into large-scale onion cultivation, I do not have the capacity to do so and I am afraid of the frequent challenge of water in dams,” Ms. Ayaaba said.
Mr. Ndewini Awuni, a farmer from Garu, said the onion cultivation was a joy to be involved especially seeing the crops grow to maturity and urged the government to help support their work in them. helping with storage facilities to keep onions until prices are right.
Mr Awuni also pleaded with the government to support farmers with loans to buy fertilizer in time for cultivation and to encourage young people to stay home and work instead of migrating south for non-existent jobs.