Planting for Food and Jobs when it was launched in 2017, was aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and ensure sustainable supply of food at cheaper cost, while creating jobs for the youth.
Modelled on the highly successful ‘Operation Feed Yourself (OFY)’ programme of the 1970s, the initiative is to be driven by 200,000 farmers selected nationwide and individuals willing to cultivate vegetables and other crops in their backyard.
Launching the programme, President Akufo-Addo, declared the programme was the answer to the modernization of agriculture which was expected to end the migration of the youth to city centres in search of non-existent jobs.
In the view of the president, even though more than 50 percent of the country’s population are engaged in agriculture in the last few years growth in the sector had declined dramatically.
“Food is unnecessarily expensive in the country that is blessed with fertile land. Our production methods are not modern and income levels of farmers and fisherforks remain low, making the sector unattractive to the youth as a viable means of livelihood,” the President said.
Five years after the launch and over 200 million dollars spent on the programme and the age –old problem of food shortage is still with us.
Ghana is still heavily dependent on food import, even vegetables, such as onion and tomatoes with all the arable land we have is imported from neignbouring Boukina Faso.
The pertinent question is to ask is, how are they able to do it and we can’t or still haven’t find a way to.
One can garner that the political will to address the problem of agriculture is lacking, as administrations since 1992, have only paid lip service to the sector.
Empires have collapsed not because they were defeated by more powerful armies, but essentially as a result of the softening of their citizens emasculated by hunger.
Ghana, has a lesson to learn in this regard, the recent hike in food prices and the reaction by Ghanaians is a pointer to the government to keep an eye on PFJ. We cannot afford to fail this time around.