The Head of Research Centre at the University of Ghana, Legon Professor Ofosu-Budu has lauded efforts by government in initiating the ‘Planting For Food and Jobs.’
He described it as a good initiative that will benefit Ghanaian farmers and give us more food in our food baskets if well executed.
He was however quick to add that, this is not the first time a government has initiated a programme like this hence, the need to review and learn from our past, identify our failures and success to inform how this new initiative is rolled out.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo today [Wednesday], launched the government’s flagship agricultural programme, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’.
The launch was held at Goaso in the Asunafo municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The programme, according to the government, would motivate farmers to grow staple foods such as maize, millet, and beans. Interested farmers are to be provided with free seedlings among other agricultural inputs and agro-chemicals such as fertilizer at reduced prices.
But commenting on the programme, Prof. Budu raised questions over the distribution of farm inputs under previous governments and cautioned against any undue political interference.
He called for accountability and transparency under the new programme so farmers, will not use other means to sell their produce since that will frustrate the process.
Government has expressed strong optimism at the success of the programme. The sector Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has said the programme will create over 750, 000 jobs.
“This year, we expect that with these interventions and only the 200,000 farmers, we would be able to increase the demand for jobs on the farms, and create 750,000 jobs. Government has also resolved to build a 1000-metric tonnes capacity warehouse in each of the 216 districts to ensure that we have enough storage capacity to store and market the expected increases that we get from this program,” the minister said.
It is estimated that the programme will kick start with GHc 560 million cost.