Establishing a board to facilitate the activities of government’s flagship program, Planting for Export and Rural Development is certainly a proposal worth considering.
Proponents of this idea believe that the formation of a board to oversee the operations of the PERD program will ensure the efficiency of the program in meeting the aims and goals for which it was formed.
And now the Deputy Minister of Agriculture In charge Of Horticulture is excited by the proposal. Hon George Oduro who spoke on Rite FM’s Agric Forum concurred with the suggestion and promised to forward the proposition to the substantive Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto for consideration.
I will forward this brilliant idea to the substantive minister of agriculture. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto for the necessary deliberations to see how best we can set up the board to see to the progress of the program, he told show host, Austin Ofori Addo on Saturday.
The deputy minister was responding to the suggestion put forward by the Chief Executive Officer of De Jordans Agro & Investments, exporters of processed cassava and cashew, Mr. Jordan S. Owusu when he appeared as guest on the show.
According to the CEO, forming the board will facilitate the responsibilities of the PERD program and help drive the initiative towards a successful end.
Hon George Oduro in supporting the call, compared the idea to the formation of a cotton board to similarly oversee the effective implementation of policies in the cotton industry.
“I agree with him since there’s a cotton board in place. The idea is a good call and I agree that there’s the need for a board to help the program, thanks for the idea,” the deputy minister said.
The Planting for Export and Rural Development program sets out clear strategic action plans to develop seven selected cash crops namely cashew, coffee, oil palm, coconut, citrus, cotton and shea into cash crops.
The PERD is not only expected to create jobs mostly for the youth and unemployed graduates, but also make sure that sustainable supply of raw materials to support government’s decentralized industrialization drive through the ‘One District, One Factory’ initiative.
Metropolitan, municipal and Districts assemblies (MMDAs) in selected areas are expected to recruit about 300 youth and unemployed graduates for specific crops in every district, who would be trained as extension agents to support the farmers to develop their farms.
According to the Deputy Agric Minister, the purpose of the PERD program is to feed the factories to be constructed under government’s one district, one factory policy, with raw materials for its processing activities all year round.
The plans of the government however, is to collaborate with the local government ministry to facilitate the implementation of the program through the various district, Municipal And Metropolitan Assemblies, Hon. Oduro disclosed, adding that the ministry however did not factor the setting up of a board to oversee the implementation of the program.
The second-in-command at the agric ministry also lauded Rite FM for prioritizing agriculture in a bid to influence the opening of ‘new and hidden doors’ in the agricultural sector and propagating government agenda as well as putting the government on its toes to secure a brighter future for the sector.
He was hopeful that the country’s farmers and youth stand a good chance to ‘better their lives’ if they take full advantage of the government’s various agric policies.
By Austin Ofori Addofirstname.lastname@example.org