School farms essential for students' food security
School farms essential for students' food security

School farms essential for students' food security

Undoubtedly, one of the major policy interventions of the government is the implementation of the free senior high school programme.


Apart from being transformative in terms of its impact, almost every house in Ghana has directly or indirectly benefitted from it.

The effect of this is that schools are recording higher student enrolment, meaning  more mouths to feed, and that calls for more innovative ways to ensure feeding of the numbers. One of the solutions has been the setting up of school farms. 

Since the launch of Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) in 2017, over 100 senior high schools (SHSs) and approximately 10 public and private universities have been enrolled. 

This year, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture introduced PFJ 2.0, which offers comprehensive support to senior high schools interested in farming. The schools can receive grants and essential inputs like seeds and fertiliser through this initiative.

Aside from these benefits, the schools that commit to the initiative and adopt ways to make it sustainable would have farms that would not only feed the school population but could as well become a means for raising internally generated funds that could be channelled into other productive ventures or be utilised for the benefit of the entire school. 

Fact is, access to food in our senior high schools is crucial for creating a conducive learning environment. Many student protests in schools stem from food shortages, highlighting the importance of addressing this issue. 

The Daily Graphic therefore, commends the ministry for including senior high schools in the PFJ programme since its inception.

It is also encouraging to see the ministry actively engaging schools in the PFJ 2.0 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 schools can reduce their reliance on external food suppliers and ensure stable food supply.

It is worthy of mention that the ministry’s commitment to supporting school farming is a step towards enhancing food security and promoting agricultural education among students.

Also, the efforts to involve educational institutions in agricultural activities demonstrate a commitment to fostering a culture of farming and entrepreneurship, contributing to national food sufficiency and economic growth.

One good thing about the schools engaging in farming is that it allows the students to acquire practical farming skills and the promotion of agricultural knowledge and entrepreneurship. The students can develop entrepreneurial skills, learning to manage farms as businesses and create income-generating activities.

The Daily Graphic believes that the farming experience can also inspire the students to pursue careers in agriculture upon completion of their tertiary education to mitigate the high unemployment challenge in the country.

Regarding curriculum integration, the farming projects can be integrated into various subjects such as biology, chemistry and business studies, thereby enhancing business studies. The students can learn more about nutrition and health benefits of fresh produce, promoting healthy eating habits.

The farming projects can teach students sustainable practices, environmental conservation, climate change mitigation, while the schools can share their farming expertise with local communities to foster community engagement and development. 

Encouraging all senior high schools and universities in the country to participate will be a significant step towards achieving food sufficiency at both the educational and national levels. 

While commending the ministry for launching the programme for schools, 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.

By encouraging senior high schools in the country to undertake farming, students can gain valuable skills, knowledge and experiences that will benefit them and their communities. 


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