President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has revealed that the “Planting for Food and Jobs” programme will create 750,000 jobs in both direct and indirect employment in the country.
“The Planting for Food and Jobs programme is expected to increase the production of maize by 30 per cent; rice by 49 per cent; soybean by 25 per cent; and sorghum by 28 per cent from current production levels. This programme will create 750,000 jobs in both direct and indirect employment,” the President disclosed.
The President made this disclosure when he launched the programme yesterday at Goaso in the Asunafo North Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region.
In all over 200,000 farmers are expected to benefit from the project across the country.
According to President Akufo-Addo, one thousand metric tonnes storage capacity would be built across the country when the programme begins.
President Akufo-Addo explained that the programme is the basis of the answer to the twin-problem of the migration of youth to city centres in search of non-existent jobs, as well as an end to the appalling situation of Ghana importing food stuffs from neighbouring countries.
Planting for Food and Jobs, the President explained, will be anchored on the pillars that will transform Ghanaian agriculture: the provision of improved seeds, the supply of fertilizers, the provision of dedicated extension services, a marketing strategy and the use of e-agriculture.
Assuring that all the necessary measures have been put in place to guarantee the success of the programme, President Akufo-Addo indicated that to ensure fertiliser is readily available to the farmer at affordable prices, government has reduced the prices of fertiliser by 50%.
“A 50kg bag of NPK fertiliser, the fertiliser most used by farmers, up to now has been costing GH¢115. Under this new administration, farmers will only pay GH¢57.50 for it. Likewise, a 50kg bag of urea now sells at GH¢47.50, as opposed to GH¢80 last year,” he said.
For his part, President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, who is Yejimanhene, Pemampem Yaw Kagbrese, commended the Akufo-Addo-led government for initiating the project.
He was optimistic that the programme will create jobs for the teeming youth in the region and across the nation.
He, therefore, urged the youth in the region to take advantage of the project so that they can gain employment.
Pemanpem Kagbrese also called on the traditional leaders to support the project by releasing their lands.
A representative from Canadian High Commission, Tina Guthrie, who was at the launch, assured of her country’s support for the project.
She called on Ghanaian farmers to grow Ghanaian food for Ghanaian families while creating jobs and increasing revenues for Ghanaians on both national and international markets.
Earlier, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, revealed that the programme will cover 2.5 million farmers nationwide after the pilot process.
In this year’s budget the government earmarked GHȻ560 million for the initiative.
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