Farmers Empowerment in South Africa and Ghana
Agriculture is one of the important sectors in South African countries. It contributes to the growth of economies and trying to eradicate some of the problems these countries will be facing. Therefore, a lot needs to be done to ensure that farmers get what they need for this sector to thrive. A summary of some of the farmers’ challenges is the lack of irrigation equipment and lack of access to technology. Besides, the poor harvest from scarcity of rain and irrigation equipment and no fence around the crops increased the risk of stealing farm animals.
Climate change is an inevitable and pressing issue that every nation is striving its best to combat. While some countries have implemented innovative technological schemes to tackle climate change and environmental issues, South African farmers do not share the same opportunity to receive assistance when dealing with harsh weather conditions. The effect of climate change has compromised food security, especially for small farmers where their lives subsist on crop production. The agricultural sector was severely affected due to its vast size and contribution to South Africa’s economy in general. When the primary source of food is affected by climate change, farmers will experience several hardships to maintain their condition: severe water stress, extreme droughts,reduced soil moisture hindering crop growth in non-irrigation agriculture, according to the 2017 research.
Even when some farmers have fled from living under hostile conditions and migrated to more favorable locations, they still experienced further difficulties. The study found that migrant farmers’ severe lack of social and agricultural resources in these isolated communities hindered their production and exposed them to abusive and discriminatory activities in the host communities. The combination of a public sector monopoly on seed supply and the insufficient ability of the public sector organizations in charge are widely acknowledged as a key reason for the sector’s poor performance. Despite liberalization and other reform initiatives, access to better seed types has remained a key barrier in several nations. A major cause of the sector’s poor performance has been the combination of a public sector monopoly of seed supply and a weak capacity of the public sector organizations in charge. Despite liberalization and other reform efforts, access to improved seed varieties has remained a significant constraint on many countries. Ghana has enacted a seed law to boost the supply of enhanced crop types to farmers by allowing the private sector greater possibilities. However, despite the reform attempts, there is still a chronic shortage of variety, which implies that the governance issues in the seed industry persist.
LACK OF ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY
The integration of technology has been a prominent asset to the agricultural industry for a long time. With the proliferation of technology, the adoption of mobile phones witnesses its prominence regardless of any economic sector, and farmers are no exception. However, farmers are not granted the opportunity to use or gain access to technology. According to Misaki, Apiola, and Gaiani’s (2015) research, the farmers have trouble gaining farming information, which aggravates poor decision-making during farming phases. Small-scale farmers commonly use mobile phone technology to obtain information to enhance agricultural output, avoid plant diseases, and build better marketing strategies. Even though this might seem hopeful, farmers’ chances of gaining data are hampered due to asymmetric information dissemination. Lack of market involvement is a prevalent characteristic of farmers worldwide, and Bie’nabe and Vermuelen (2011) identify it as a barrier to their growth. Because of various limitations, developing farmers in South Africa’s impoverished rural areas find it challenging to engage in commercial marketplaces.
This issue is explained by the fact that the abundance of data is provided to traders. The cost of market searching impedes smallholders’ range of services, which engenders a lower response to market changes. Meanwhile, the information searching process could be excessive. While there have been positive impacts of using mobile phones among farmers with the evidence of enhanced yields and agricultural productivity, the Internet connections for most farmers are not stable. Besides, there has been a lack of trust and transparency when farmers use mobile phones to access farming information. Along with the low level of education, proper training for farmers in technology should also be bolstered.
WHAT SHALL WE DO?
In general, roads, communications networks, and farming equipment all need to be upgraded since they prevent developing farmers from promoting their operations. Farmers’ communities should be subsidized with fencing. Irrigation equipment for crop producers is essential for horticulture since water is the basic requirement. Farmers’ output was limited due to a lack of cultivation equipment such as tractors and plowing equipment. The majority of responders stated that they hire these tools when needed with the limited funds they have. Those who had them used obsolete, low-quality tools.
Francis Asomaning found CSWOI, who noticed a gap in the Agriculture Sector. He believed that this sector could help the youth in terms of employment to make a country’s economy better. Thus, he introduced a farmer’s empowerment campaign to ensure that farmers get the help they need to succeed in this area. For CSWOI, we have been trying our best to equip the farmers with proper knowledge, empower them to engage, and highlight the importance of the agricultural sector. We would try to develop support systems to share information about climate change to respond to climatic threats. The Individual Farmers Empowerment will provide more employment opportunities for young people, increase food security, and enlarging the creation of Financial Freedom. On December 26th, 2020, CSWOI visited individual farmers struggling with their farms due to the lack of funding in Tembisa, North Johannesburg. This project started six months ago. However, due to the global pandemic, we could not go back there until June 10th, 2021. Even though we could not meet the farmers, we found out that they had worked hard for six months in vain, getting nothing for their work.
We have witnessed some of the issues mentioned above, such as lack of irrigation and rain (leading to the fact that all the maize could not be harvested in time), some farmers lack facilities, and some require transportation. We know that the farmers and their families are crying within them, for they have suffered for nothing. That is why we are appealing to the world to come to our aid to help our individuals, farmers, and youth agriculture skills empowerment. Therefore, we would love to have you join us onboard and empower these farmers. By contributing your help, you are dedicated to helping the society to develop, to help these farmers make a living and save their lives, and lastly: To be a better citizen.