President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will later today, launch the government’s flagship agricultural programme, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’.
The launch will be held at Goaso in the Asunafo municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The project is expected to be rolled out in all 216 districts across the country and will involve the supply of farm resources such as high yielding and improved seedlings to participating farmers.
The NPP government has said that it intends to revolutionize agriculture in the country by introducing the programme which is expected to create more than 750,000 jobs.
The programme, according to the government, would also 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.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto told Citi News, government was very optimistic about the prospects of the program.
He also announced that government intends to construct a warehouse in each district of the country enhance food storage.
“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.
Meanwhile, the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, has noted that, the program will fail if it is not properly restructured to target more small-scale farmers, instead of large-scale farmers.
The Programme Officer for the Association, Charles Kwowe Nyaaba, in an earlier interview with Citi News said “the target beneficiaries in the first place are wrong. They are targeting the large-scale farmers, and not small-scale farmers, but we all know that the farmer population in Ghana, we have over 80% being small-scale farmers.”
He further said that government’s intention to recruit, train and deploy National Service personnel as extension service officers was a recipe for failure since they may not possess the required skills to undertake the duty.