School farms essential for students' food security

School farms essential for students' food security

Access to food in our senior high schools (SHSs) is crucial for the creation of a conducive learning environment.


Many student protests in SHSs stem from food shortages, highlighting the need to address this issue. 

The Daily Graphic, therefore, commends the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for including SHSs in the Planting for Food and Jobs programme since its inception.

Since the launch of PFJ in 2017, over 100 SHSs and approximately 10 public and private universities have been enrolled.

Recently, the ministry introduced PFJ2.0 which offers comprehensive support to SHSs interested in farming. 

Schools can receive grants and essential inputs such as seeds and fertiliser through this initiative.

It is encouraging that the ministry is actively engaging SHSs in the PFJ2.0 programme, especially considering the vast unused lands many schools possess.

By utilising these lands for farming, schools can achieve self-sufficiency in food production and potentially generate income. 

The ministry's commitment to supporting school farming is a step towards enhancing food security and promoting agricultural education among students.

Hopefully, its focus on large-scale commercial farming within organised bodies such as educational institutions can improve the programme’s sustainability and reduce repayment challenges compared to individual farmers.

Utilising platforms such as the Ghana Agriculture and Agribusiness Platform (GhAAP) for monitoring can enhance accountability and traceability in the programme’s implementation.

It is essential for the registration process under PFJ2.0 to be stringent to prevent fraud and ensure successful investment recoupment.

Transparency in the programme’s operations is crucial to avoid past issues with credit facilities. 

While digital tracking of farmers can aid monitoring efforts, vigilance is necessary to prevent misuse or delays in repayment.

The ministry's efforts to involve educational institutions in agricultural activities demonstrate a commitment to foster a culture of farming and entrepreneurship and contribute to national food sufficiency and economic growth.

The Daily Graphic believes that ensuring the sustainability of the programme is crucial, as previous experiences with credit facilities extended to individuals were fraught with challenges which resulted in bad debts.

It is in light of this that the Daily Graphic emphasises the importance of the ministry avoiding such pitfalls, especially in terms of recouping the heavy investment in the form of inputs.

Although the sector minister mentioned that the digital platform would track farmers, some may be savvy in navigating such systems.

 Discrepancies in language and repayment timelines can pose challenges.

Financial institutions have historically been hesitant to lend to farmers due to the high risks associated with farming. 


The programme's inclusion of the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL), a non-banking financial institution, aims to de-risk agricultural financing and promote increased lending to the agricultural sector.

Encouraging all SHSs and universities in the country to participate in the programme will be a significant step towards achieving food sufficiency at the educational and national levels.

While commending the ministry for launching the programme for SHSs, the Daily Graphic suggests that building on existing partnerships with educational institutions that enrolled in the initial phase of PFJ would be beneficial.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel if a programme has already been set in motion successfully.


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