George Oduro, a Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), has reiterated the commitment of the government to improve the lives of farmers in the country through the modernization of the country’s agricultural sector.
The deputy minister says government’s interventions in the agricultural sector through pragmatic policies will not be politicized, stressing that every single Ghanaian who deserves to benefit will have his or her fair share.
According to him, “issues of agriculture will not be an NPP/NDC matter” adding that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, under the leadership of Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, will not discriminate against any Ghanaian.
He observed that the politicization of government programmes, particularly in the area of agriculture has not in the past, helped the development of farmers, adding that the administration of the NPP under His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo, intends to avoid that by giving access to every deserving Ghanaian.
Addressing Chiefs and people in the Ahafo enclave as part of ongoing efforts by MOFA to engage various stakeholders in the implementation of government’s flagship “Planting for Food and Jobs” campaign, Hon. Oduro urged traditional rulers to rally their subjects to participate in the programme.
He noted that government is ready to offer incentives to the youth to go into farming, stressing that the success story has been evidenced in the smooth implementation of the pilot phase of the PFJ programme in 2017.
The New Edubiase MP noted that in the 2018 crop season, the government intends to register about half a million farmers and similarly support them with incentives to increase productivity and improve their income.
He said it was for this reason that MOFA is soliciting the cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation.
Hon. Oduro further pointed out that under the programme, the government has guaranteed ready market for farmers through a comprehensive arrangement with aggregators, stressing that with the introduction of the Warehouse Receipt System, farmers can now access financial support from banks using their receipts as collateral.
Whilst commending the Chiefs of the Ahafo enclave for their decision to allocate about 40,000 acres of land for the programme, the Deputy Minister promised that government through MOFA will give them the needed support.
SUPPORT FROM THE TRADITIONAL RULERS
The traditional rulers from the Ahafo enclave spanning Tepa, Maaban, Goaso, Acherensua, Bechem, Asuhyiae and others have pledged to allocate 40,000 acres towards farming in their areas.
Twenty thousand (20,000) acres of this land will be used for rice production whilst the remaining 20,000 will go into the cultivation of bamboo for the generation of electricity and other products.
The project, being spearheaded by the Paramount Chief of Maaban, Nana Darko Montwi II, is expected to create jobs for youths in the catchment communities.
Nana Darko Montwi II in his address disclosed that investors for the bamboo project have already visited the area to do a feasibility study.
He, therefore, commended the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, for lending his support to the project.
On his part, Nana Atwerewaa Ampem II, the Paramount Chief of the Tepa Traditional Area, said there was no doubt agriculture holds the key to solving the numerous youth unemployment in the country.
He, therefore, indicated his full support towards the Planting for Food and Jobs campaign and encouraged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to pursue the project.