Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Govt Recruits Over 5,000 Extension Officers

1:11:00 PM

Government is recruiting additional 1,200 Extension Officers and 4,000 Assistant Extension Officers across the country as part of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs campaign, which is in fulfillment of one of the commitments made by the NPP in its 2016 election manifesto.

Government has already earmarked GHC 516 million toward the campaign which, among others, is to create jobs, ensure food sufficiency and food security and facilitate the governments industrialization drive.

Besides, the Canadian government is also supporting the campaign with $125 million while other development partners are expected to announce their help soon.

President Akufo-Addo will, on Wednesday April 19, 2017, officially launch the NPP governments much touted ‘Planting for Food and Jobs campaign at Goaso, capital of the Asunafo North Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region.

About 200,000 farmers across all the 216 districts in the country are being targeted to be brought on board to go into the plantation of the initial five main crops selected for the implementation of the campaign this year. The five are maize, rice, sorghum, soybeans and vegetables.

Over 700,000 additional farmers may be brought on board next year based on the successful implementation of the campaign this year. It is expected that in the next four years, about five million farmers and fishermen will be covered as a result of the campaign.

To ensure the successful planning and organisation of the official launch of the campaign by the President later this month, a Local Organizing Committee has been inaugurated in Sunyani by the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Owusu Afriyie Akoto.

The eleven-member committee, chaired by the Chief Director at the Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council, Felix B. Chaahaah, will work in partnership with the National Planning Committee to ensure a memorable launching ceremony.

Inaugurating the LOC, Dr Afriyie Akoto said the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs campaign would play a strategic role in the governments transformational agenda for the people of Ghana, stressing: the campaign will transform the lives of farmers whose fortunes sank lower and lower during the previous government.

He said even though the agricultural sector declined in the previous administration, the sector still holds the country.

Agriculture is an instrument that can be used to transform this country, he said and called on corporate bodies, institutions and all Ghanaians to join in the campaign.

Dr Afriyie Akoto described the campaign as a novelty, saying there would be an inter-ministerial collaboration to see to the successful running and sustenance of the campaign.

Deputy Minister Designate for Food and Agriculture, George B. Oduro, said arrangements were being made with all educational institutions, especially Senior High Schools, Colleges of Education and Nursing Training Schools, and hospitals to patronize the produce by farmers under the programme.

In addition, he said, caterers under the National Schools Feeding Programme would be required to buy from the farmers.

He said this arrangement would go a long way to reduce the importation of food from other countries.

The Chief Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Emmanuel Asante-Krobea, described the campaign as a radical way of accelerating food production.

Mr Asante-Krobea said the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs campaign is anchored on five pillars, namely Certified or Improved Seed, Fertilizer, Marketing, Extension Services and Electronic Agriculture.

He said to ensure that farmers were able to afford to buy fertilizers for their farming businesses, government had absorbed half of the current price of a bag of fertilizer. A bag of fertilizer currently sells at GHC 115.00.

The farmer will pay only 25% of the cost and pay the remaining 25% after harvesting, he said.

The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, who chaired the programme, called for a concerted efforts at making the campaign a success.

We need our chiefs, who are the custodians of the lands on which we are going to cultivate the crops, he stressed.

By Ghana Leaks Blog

Written by

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