Agriculturalist Issah Ouedroago wants players in the agriculture sector to be clear on the government advertised Planting for Food and Jobs programme to ensure its sustainability.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has said it has some 4,400 vacancies for extension officers to help start government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
The project is also targeted at creating over 750,000 direct jobs for Ghanaians who will be actively involved in the pilot phase of the project this year and who are then expected to champion the government’s agricultural modernisation policy for the next five years.
The ministry has already employed 1,500 extension officers to be dispatched across the country to assist famers. It is believed the extension officers would be the link between technology and the farmers.
While this is welcome news, Issah Ouedroago, who is also the CEO of agro-firm B-Bovid which is based at Mpohor in the Western Region, wants a defined objective for the implementation of the programme.
He told Melody News’ Joe Bright that government needs to prepare the mindset of the people. “People who will be interested in particular type of crops” he said. He further wants government to be clear on whether the agricultural policy is going to be export based or only for domestic consumption.
“You see if we don’t put the necessary structures and processing facilities in place it is going to be a cos90 job”, Mr. Ouedraogo noted.
Meanwhile; a national organising committee had been inaugurated on the 30th March, 2017 and tasked with the responsibility of engaging various stakeholders in preparations towards the launch of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
The goal of the project, among others is to ensure increased food production, while cutting down on the huge foreign exchange used in importing food items into the country annually.
Dr Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture has said the campaign would also be private sector led, adding that the government would involve the private sector at both the production and the harvesting stages in terms of value addition and the prevention of post-harvest losses.
He said it would also involve the supply of improved seedlings and fertiliser at subsidised prices, as well as the provision of extension services, marketing opportunities for produce and use of data collection technology for farmers.
The national launch of the programme, which is a flagship project of the Akufo-Addo administration, is scheduled to take place in the Brong Ahafo Region on April 19, 2017.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to perform the official launch to kick-start the campaign, which is expected to revolutionise the country’s agriculture.
The aim of the project is to ensure increased food production, while cutting down on the huge foreign exchange used in importing food items into the country annually.
By:Joe Bright Nyarko