President Akufo-Addo, has once again peddled an obvious lie, when he claimed that, no single grain was imported into the country since the inception of the planting for food and jobs.
The president made this claim, while Addressing MMDCES at an orientation conference in Madina last Wednesday October 3, 2018.
Disturbingly, this is about the umpteenth time the president, had lied to the nation, in the face of glaring evidence.
According to poultry farmers and corroborated by a deputy minister of Agric, Dr. Sagre Bambangi, permits were issued for the importation of maize and indeed maize was imported.
The president on Wednesday April 18, 2017 launched the planting for food and jobs progarmme at Goaso, in the Brong Ahafo Region.
At the launched the president said, “The Planting for Food and Jobs programme is expected to increase the production of maize by 30 per cent; rice by 49 per cent; soybean by 25 per cent; and sorghum by 28 per cent from current production levels. This programme will create 750,000 jobs in both direct and indirect employment”. Have al l these targets been achieved?
In July 2017, following the fall army worm infestation, the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, mounted pressure on the government to declare a state of emergency, as fall army worms ravage farmlands across the country. 112,000 farmlands were infected and 14,000 farms completely destroyed.
This happened four months after the president launched the planting food and jobs to incentivize Ghanaians to accept agriculture as a veritable means of making contributions to the economy through job creation and economic empowerment.
Prices of food are going up, despite the success story of the programme. Poultry farmers, not long ago, were crying that, they were unable to get enough maize to feed their birds.
The president, has every reason to tout his achievements, but when the reality on the ground, does not support his claim, he will be exposed.
His claim is coming up at a time, when many Ghanaians are asking, how much the government has spent so far in promoting the planting for food and jobs programme.
We recall that, last year, the minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie, also told us that the programme had created 745,000 jobs in its first year alone.
To make the plight of farmers worse, the programme is being politicised. This is a national programme which should get the input and support of all, but as usual the government is taking credit, when the fact on the ground does not support their claim.