Pending the approval of the 2018 Budget statement presented by the Finance Minister, Hon. Ken Ofori Atta last Wednesday at the house of the country’s biggest law making chamber, the statement has proposed to register 500,000 farmers and recruits 2700 extension officers under the planting for food and jobs programme.
“In 2018, 500,000 farmers are targeted to be registered whilst 2,700 extension agents are expected to be recruited to support the Programme”, the Minister said.
Food security is one of the major developmental goals of the United Nations including Ghana.
The current government in its pursuit to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 2, initiated ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ (PFJ) intervention to provide food security and employment to the teeming Ghanaian youth.
“… to increase production of selected crops for food security and create jobs, especially for the teeming youth, the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs Programme’ was made a flagship programme in the 2017 budget,” Hon. Dr. Ken Ofori Atta stated.
The 2017 farming season, the virgin edition of planting for food and jobs registered a total of 201, 000 farmers and recruited 2,160 and 1,070 university graduate and youth respectively.
As part of effort to strengthen the programme, government took a number of interventions such as fertilizer and subsidy programme and 220 tractors and accessories comprising 141 maize shellers and 77 multi-crop threshers distributed to farmers.
According to the Finance Minister, the government will in 2018 support farmers as well the planting for food and job programme through supply of 200 tractors and matching implements, 4000 motorised sprayer and 1,000 power tillers and walking tractors to farmers.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture will also provide services including capacity building workshops and trainings for farmers, machinery, input supply, machine manufacturing and repairs and storage services.
“The Ministry will establish 50 Farmer Service Centres (FSC) for timely and enhanced access to mechanization services. The Centres will provide the following services: farm machinery; input supply; farmer training; machine manufacturing and repair; and storage services.”
Agriculture has contributed 4.3 per cent to the GDP in 2017 and is projected to contribute an average of 5.2 for the next 4 years with 4.5, 5.8, 5.0 and 5.3 per cents for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 fiscal years respectively.
Source: Omanba Kodwo Boafofirstname.lastname@example.org