"Planting For Food And Jobs" Initiative Set To Take Off- Agric Minister
| Updated Apr 20, 2017 at 8:19am
The Chargé d'affair of the Canadian High Commission in Ghana, Tina Guthrie
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Akoto Afriyie, said all the required preparatory works have been done, and with the onset of the rains the implementation has begun in earnest for the "Planting for food and jobs program".
He urged both private and public institutions to join in by setting up farms. He said five million farmers will be covered under the Programme by 2020.
According to Dr. Akoto Afriyie, improved seeds are currently being distributed, while fertilizer distribution is about to start.
He also said extension officers are being deployed all over the country to support farmers.
The Agric Minister also announced that Government had resolved to put up a 1000 metric ton capacity ware house in each of the 216 Districts for storage of the surpluses expected under the "Planting for Food and Jobs program".
Earlier, the Chargé d'affair of the Canadian High Commission in Ghana, Tina Guthrie, who deputized for her High Commissioner, said as the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme is rolled out, they are encouraging stakeholders to pay serious attention to the needs of women in agriculture.
She stressed that this is crucial since although women make up half of the Agric Labour force, only two percent of them have access to extension services.
The Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Daniel Asiedu, used his time at the podium to announce that his bank has set aside 300 Million Ghana Cedis to support various viable projects in the Agricultural Value Chain this year.
He grabbed the opportunity to endorse the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative and called on all other financial institutions to allocate funds for Agric financing.
He also urged the public to heed the clarion call and participate actively in farming activities.
The Planting for Food and Jobs Program which has already been launched in the ten Regions of Ghana is basically aimed at giving a boost to production levels in the Agricultural sector.
This it is hoped will help enrich farmers, create jobs for the teeming unemployed as well as facilitate agro processing.
The launch was heavily attended by Stakeholders in Agriculture.
Among them were some Ministers and some Members of Ghana's Parliament, Officials of the MOFA and Chiefs from the Asunafo and Asutifi areas.
Also present were Farmers and farmers groups from Bono-Ahafo and beyond.
Some companies who deal in Agricultural inputs also took advantage of the launch to display their products.
President Akufo-Addo in his address stressed that during his campaigning towards election 2016, one of the demands he picked up all over the country was the need to revive and modernize agriculture.
He said it was argued by the people that improving agriculture will not only help stem the tide of youth migration from rural areas to urban Centres in search of jobs, but also end the disgraceful importation of food from neighboring countries.
The President said he was happy to inform those that raised those concerns that the answer to the problem is the "Planting for Food and Jobs Program".
He revealed that the Program is receiving support from bodies like the Canadian Government, USAID, the World Bank, the Ministry of Finance and other private entities.
He therefore called for all hands on deck to improve general agriculture to the the level that Cocoa production has reached in Ghana due to effective support.