Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Agric Sector Has Brighter Future - Afriyie Akoto

2:41:00 PM

The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has assured farmers that there are fine times ahead in the agriculture sector following the reduction in the price of fertiliser.
Instead of paying GH¢82, as was the case last year, farmers would now pay GH¢52 per a bag of fertiliser.

Last year you paid GH¢82 per bag; this year you are going to pay only GH¢52 per bag. The commitment of this government to agriculture is great. Good times are ahead and this government is serious with agriculture, he said.

He added that the government would build a 1000-tonne capacity warehouse in each of the 216 districts for the storage of farm produce to prevent them from going bad.

Courtesy call

Dr Akoto said this last Thursday when the leadership of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association, Ghana (NFFAWAG) and the Ghana National Farmers and Fishermen Association (FF) paid a courtesy call on him in his office in Accra.  

According to him, the agriculture sector has problems not because farmers are lazy but the lack of the needed support, and that is why the current government has taken the first step with its ‘Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

We are going to work with you farmers and that is why we are selecting 200,000 farmers across the 216 districts to work with in the first year of the piloting of the programme. We have about five million farmers and fishermen and by 2020 we hope to reach at least half of that population, he said.

Dr Akoto indicated that the 200,000 farmers were being used to enable the government to see the results, the problems of implementation and the bottlenecks for redesigning for the major campaign in 2018.

National launch

The national launch of the Planting for Food and Jobs, he said, would be done by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on April 19 at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo Region, after which he would perform the regional launch in the 10 regions. 

The campaign would also be launched at the metropolitan, municipal and district assembly levels. About half a billion cedis will be spent on the programme.

He added that a contract had been awarded for the importation of 150,000 metric tonnes of fertilisers, while 1,200 extension officers who had been trained in agriculture colleges would be engaged to assist farmers in their work.

Good times

Dr Akoto stated again that we are doing all kinds of fine things. Good times are coming, my brothers and sisters. I am serious about this.  We estimate that the 200,000 farmers that we are choosing for the work would generate GH¢1.3 billion in gross revenue on their farms.

The Chairman of NAFFAWAG, Nene Davies Narh Korboe, congratulated the minister on his appointment and implored him to make board members of the association a part of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs programme to give it the needed impetus. 

Nene Korboe also appealed to the minister to ensure that the Ranching Bill, which had been on the drawing board for sometime, would be passed as soon as possible.

For his part, the Secretary General of FF, Mr Lemuel Martey, pleaded with the minister to support train the members of the association on the new trends and methods of farming to enhance their yields.

By Ghana Leaks Blog

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