Richard Kofi Ansu, syi B/A
The Minister for food and Agriculture, Dr. Afriyie Akoto Osei in a statement said, government has an alternative to make agriculture a field to deliver on its promise of job creation for the teeming unemployed Ghanaians in the system.
He admitted that, even though the output of every acre and labor involved in the sector is low as compare to international principles and even in West African standards, there is more room for improvement.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto, disclosed this at the launch of regional planning committee for the national launch of ‘’Planting for food and Job’’ campaign in sunyani.
The eleven member Regional Planning Committee, was launched ahead of the official inauguration of the programme by the President of the republic of Ghana at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo region on April 19, 2017.
The committee, was tasked to ensure successful implementation of the programme.
The committee members were drawn from the Brong Ahafo regional coordinating council, ministry for food and agriculture, information service department, Asunafo north municipal, department for gender and the ministry of trade and industry.
According to him, government is committed to make the agricultural sector, a vessel to generate income and sufficient food production for all Ghanaian.
He says, government will buy all produce from the planting for food and job and channel it to the prison service, hospitals, schools and other tertiary institutions.
The minister, however, tasked the entire twenty eight million Ghanaians to plant something to help the government realize its agenda.
He added that the government was in the process of distributing free seedlings, fertilizers and needed logistics to all interested farmers.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto, therefore urged the regional committee to ensure effective implementation of the programme to all the 216 districts in the Brong Ahafo region.
According to him, out of five million farmers in both fishing and farming sector in Ghana, government intends to start with 2000 interested farmers to roll out the programme.
Meanwhile, the Technical advisor for the ministry for food and agriculture, Mr. E. Asante Krobea said, this campaign is targeted at five main crops, including sorghum, soybeans, maize, rice and vegetables.
He noted that each crop has significance, they chose rice because Ghana imports about fifty percent of rice, hence the need to plant it.
Maize is also largely eaten everywhere and therefore there is the need to give it the needed attention.
The poultry industry he said, imports about ninety percent of soybeans to feed their poultry and so there was the need to step up production.
He said, sorghum was becoming an industrial crop, Guineans are now demanding it and when farmers are able to grow it commercially, it will improve the penetration to the outside world.
On the part of vegetables, the technical advisor intimated that, vegetables will improve the health status of Ghanaians, when it is commercialized.