The government plans to invest heavily in agriculture in 2019 to boost the sector and make it the fulcrum of the industrialisation agenda of the country, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
Addressing the 34th National Farmers Day in Tamale yesterday, he said farm machinery worth $216 million would be imported to revive 160 moribund agriculture mechanisation centres and establish new ones.
Besides, 80 warehouses each with a capacity of 1,000 tonnes will be constructed at various locations of the country in addition to the construction and rehabilitation of various dams and dugouts under the One village, One dam to enhance all-year-round farming.
President Akufo-Addo also announced that the government would be implementing new initiatives such as Aquaculture for Food and Jobs (AFJ) and Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) to further boost the agricultural sector and create decent jobs for the youth.
He said a total of 577,000 farmers in 2018 benefited from the Planting for Food and Jobs ((PFJ) programme out of which 278,000 had been captured in a biometric exercise to help build a reliable database of farmers.
The PFJ, the President said, exceeded the target for the year and had resulted in an increase in food production.
“Our strategy of improving the agriculture sector would be aggressively achieved in 2019,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo added that the government would upgrade facilities at the Kotoka International Airport and other trade routes to boost Ghana's export of agricultural produce.
He further announced a scholarship package ranging from first degree to doctorate in any agriculture-related programmes for children of award winners.
“This year, government has added to the national awards package for farmers and fisherfolk, a total of 24 scholarships for the wards of farmers and fishermen ,” he said, adding that the package was a testament to how the government was making agriculture attractive to all, especially the youth.
This year, 91 farmers from the national and regional levels picked various awards at the National Farmers Day event.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, in a speech, expressed the government's resolve to roll out more interventions in the agricultural sector to boost food production and create jobs.
He stated that several successes had been chalked up in the sector through the implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs and called on the public to take advantage of the intervention to make a living.
The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mrs Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, said as a result of measures put in place, diversion and hoarding of premix fuel had been eliminated.