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Ministry has alternative livelihood opportunities for vigilantes— Agric Minster

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
 Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto —  Minister of Agric
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto — Minister of Agric

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture says it is ready to provide alternative livelihood opportunities for members of the various political vigilante groups.

The sector Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the ministry was ready to make land and agricultural inputs available for members as a means of providing them with a regular source of income.

He was speaking to journalists on how to promote the welfare of members of the vigilante groups after their disbandment.

President’s directive

Following concerns about the operations of political party vigilantes and the threat they posed to the peace and security of the country, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his State of the Nation Address on February 21, called on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to meet and fashion how they could disband those groups.

As the two leading political parties, the NPP and the NDC, engaged in discussions towards the disbandment of their respective affiliated groups, Dr Akoto said, the issue of providing the members with a means of sustenance after their disbandment had strongly come up.

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Life after vigilantism

He said the ministry had solutions in sight for members of those groups, “as we have plans to support interested members to go into commercial farming under the flagship Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme.”

He said the ministry had many acres across the country which could be made available to them.

Land location

"The ministry has land at Wenchi, Ejura and other parts of the country.

We are ready to make it available to members and support them to go into commercial farming," he declared.

Dr Akoto said farming had become a lucrative venture and attributed the development to the PFJ programme.

“All Ghanaians, including members of vigilante groups, can take full advantage for the betterment of their lives.

We are coming up with other models, such as the Planting for Export and Rural Development, Rearing for Food and Jobs, Greenhouse Villages and Mechanisation programmes, all geared towards improving the lives of Ghanaians.

“I would, therefore, encourage both the NPP and the NDC to take advantage of the opportunity at our disposal to support their members," the minister said.