Dr. Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture
The current Akufo-Addo administration is taking steps to boost productivity in the agriculture sector to improve the livelihoods of farmers in the country.
The measures that have been put in place are expected to be officially announced at the 2018 edition of the National Farmers’ Day Celebration scheduled to take place on December 7 in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital.
Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, made the disclosure to the media on Wednesday in Accra, saying in 2019 the ‘Planting For Food and Jobs’ initiative, for instance, would be expanded.
According to the Minister, under the expansion programme, farmers, inputs and agric products would be targeted.
He added that “this is expected to yield 7.3% and 7.0% for 2019 and 2020 respectively.”
“Growth in the sector had dwindled to 0.9% in 2014, 2.3% in 2015, 2.9% in 2016,” the Minister added, noting that to address the problem, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration in 2017 first introduced the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme, targeting 250,000 farmers.
“The programme is focused on supplying inputs to farmers, including fertilizers and improved seeds, providing farmers with agric extension services, assisting farmers with marketing channels for their output through organized buffer stock company and licensed buying companies.”
As a result of the introduction of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme, he stated statistics from Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) revealed that agric productivity improved by an estimated 6.1 percent.
“In 2018 the number of target farmers has been doubled to 500,000 and a further growth of 6.8% is expected on top the 2017 figure. Note that in both years the number of target farmers was exceeded.”
This year’s Farmers’ Day will begin with a National Agricultural Fair from Thursday, 29th November 2018 and end on Friday, 7th December 2018 at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium.
According to the Minister, it would also allow for collective assessment of the impact of the agricultural sector on the national economy.
By Melvin Tarlue