The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has so far registered a total number of 188,338 farmers for the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs’ Programme.
The number includes some 20,459 farmers from the Ashant region, 20,638 from Brong Ahafo region, 17,134 from Central region , 12,777 from Eastern region, 1,637 from Greater Accra, 25,417 from Upper East , 36,188 from Upper West , 14,726 from Volta region, 10,516 from Western region as well as some 2,431 framers from other regions .
The Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto disclosed this on Thursday when he appeared before Parliament to respond to a question filed in the name of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo North, Eric Opoku on “the expenditure, participation and status of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs Program’.
According to him out of the number 34,000 have been captured electronically by ESOKO.
He informed the House that government has so far injected a total amount of GH₵157,023,174.00 into the Program out of which an amount, GH₵24,963,981.00 was spent on seeds whilst GH₵132,059,193.00 was spent on fertilizer and haulage.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said, the amount was spent on the campaign for the major season in the southern sector and the three northern regions.
He told the House that distriution of inputs to all districts in the southern sector for the major season cropping is completed whilst the distribution of inputs the northern sector is near completion with that of the southern sector currently on going .
He said the ministry as at June 2017 distributed a total of 59,943 bags of maize , rice , soyabeans and sorghum seeds , 33,949 vegetable seeds as well as 1,201,338 bags of fertilizers .
He mentioned inadequate domestic supply of seeds , unavialabile farmer database, inadequate extension officers and vehicles as the recent fall army worm invasion as some challenges affecting the Programme but assured that plans has been put in place to address them.
The Planting for Food and Jobs Programme has five main pillars of intervention namely the provision of seed, fertilizer, extension services, marketing and e-agriculture platform.
Under the campaign, selected farmers are supported with farm inputs such as improved seeds of the targeted crops, fertilizers and extension services directly from the ministry whilst other pillars are to be implemented with the private sector partners.
The Programme seeks to transform the agriculture sector by increasing the productivity of farm resources centered on small holding activities to provide job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth and to provide raw materials for industry.
The Programme focuses on four key stable food and vegetables commonly grown in the country. These are maize, rice, soyabean and sorghum, tomato, onion and pepper.
The Programme was was officially launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo Region on April 19, 2017 and unveiled by Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto on January 9, 2017, at the New Year School of the University of Ghana.
Source: Gily Sparks | parliamentafrica.com