Mr George Oduro, the Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, has said government was gradually making agriculture the backbone of the country’s economy with the needed investments in the sector.
He said the sector is a major priority for government hence the employment of the “planting for food and jobs” policy to ensure food security, make farmers rich and create jobs and opportunities for the citizenry.
Mr Oduro said this at a day’s sensitization seminar on the establishment of the District Centre of Agric, Commerce and Technology”–(DCACT) for core staff of Municipal and District Assemblies and senior personnel from the Department of Agriculture in the Volta Region.
He said the project has put in place measures such as the construction of warehouses across the country to address issues of post-harvest losses to make farming attractive to young people, with basic and secondary schools providing ready market for the produce.
Mr Oduro urged Coordinating Directors of the Municipal and District Assemblies to support District Directors of Agriculture to make the project viable.
“Farming is time bound so our Coordinating Directors must treat requests of Agric Officers well. Take good care of them, attend to them fast and don’t only concentrate on infrastructural projects because you also get revenue from market women who sell farm produce,” he said.
Mr Collins Ntim, Deputy Minister, Local Government and Rural Development in-charge of Agriculture, said the DCACT would be a central point for the promotion of agriculture, investment and businesses.
He said government was also introducing “planting for jobs and investment” with focus on the cultivation of cash crops and called for collaboration among key stakeholders in the Assemblies and the Department of Agriculture for the success of the project.
Mr Ntim said government was growing its raw material base for factories to create sustainable jobs and would “not rush to push for factories” where there were no raw materials.
Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, said the country could not make progress without agriculture and called for the support of all.