The Deputy Minister in charge of Agriculture Kennedy Osei Nyarko has called on the media to propagate the ‘’great achievements’’ of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the sector.
He was speaking on the ability of Ghana to export food to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire through the planting for food and jobs with Kwabena Agyapong on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has indicated that the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative, has positioned Ghana to export foodstuffs to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.
Per statics released by the Ministry, the Ejura Market in the Ejura Sekyeredumase municipality in the Ashanti Region alone, about 2,008 tonnes of yellow maize and 2,174 tonnes of white maize were exported to Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, respectively, at the end of 2018.
The data further said the Ejura Sekyeredumase Municipal Department of Agriculture had reported that an additional 1,291 tonnes and 144 tonnes of cowpea were exported to Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, respectively, while 296.88 tonnes of yam went to Cote d’Ivoire alone.
Six other food commodities, totalling about 351,562 tonnes, were exported to Burkina Faso alone in 2018.
The data also revealed 13,394 tonnes of plantain were exported from the Abofour Market to Burkina Faso.
6,413 tonnes of banana were exported to Burkina Faso in 2018.
Between May and October 2018, between 1,200 and 1,912 tonnes of banana were exported to Burkina Faso.
The Ministry further said 3,275 tonnes of citrus and 1,465 metric tonnes of pawpaw were carted from the same market to Burkina Faso in 2018.
For ginger, he said 1,655 tonnes were exported, while 2,294 tonnes of palm fruits and 2,207 metric tonnes of palm oil were all exported to Burkina Faso.
Commenting on these achievements, the Deputy Minister said, the planting for food and jobs has chalked great successes and has admonished the media to highlight these stories to allow Ghanaians know what the government has achieved since the initiative was introduced.
Mr Kennedy Osei Nyarko recounted how the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), made mockery of the policy and prophesy the failure of the agric policy.
But the competence of this administration has yielded positive results, he added.
The planting for food and jobs he explained was a comprehensive policy introduced to help farmers harvest more food and export some to neighbouring countries.
He was quick to add that, the success stories is not going to make them lazy but the Ministry will continue to increase production and cut down on importation.
Government he assured will assist rice farmers for them to grow more so the country will depend on local rice and cut down on importation.
In September 2018, President Akufo-Addo announced a GH¢500 million facility to support the growth and development of the sector.
The facility is to serve as some sort of insurance for the commercial banks to give out loans at reasonable rates to farmers.
The Bank of Ghana would manage the facility, Ghana Incentive Based Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending Scheme, and according government, the facility is targeted at reducing risks of investments and promoting agriculture financing.
At the 34th National Farmers Day in Tamale in December last year, the president also promised massive investment in the sector.
said farm machinery worth $216 million would be imported to revive 160 moribund
agriculture mechanisation centres and establish new ones.
Besides, 80 warehouses each with a capacity of 1,000 tonnes will be constructed at various locations of the country in addition to the construction and rehabilitation of various dams and dugouts under the One village, One dam to enhance all-year-round farming.
President Akufo-Addo also announced that the government would be implementing new initiatives such as Aquaculture for Food and Jobs (AFJ) and Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) to further boost the agricultural sector and create decent jobs for the youth.
He said a total of 577,000 farmers in 2018 benefited from the Planting for Food and Jobs ((PFJ) programme out of which 278,000 had been captured in a biometric exercise to help build a reliable database of farmers.