The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) will tomorrow roll out the Senior High School (SHS) version of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative, a flagship programme of the government seeking to ensure food security in the country.
Called "Food Farms for Schools", the initiative will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
To be launched at the Okuapemman SHS in the Eastern Region, the implementation of the latest agricultural initiative will start with 100 schools, made up of 10 from each region.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic in Accra last Thursday said the initiative was meant to project farming as a business to the students for them to see it as a profitable venture.
"The idea behind this initiative is to inculcate farming in the minds of the students, use the opportunity to educate them on the science of agriculture and introduce them to the concept of taking farming as a career or profession after completing their education,” he said.
Dr Akoto stated that; “It will also supplement the schools' own food sources and revenue.”
The minister said the establishment of the farms would start immediately and would be expanded steadily until it covered all SHSs, junior high schools and universities.
"We are starting with the minor season in the south,” Dr Akoto said and added that although the north was already well advanced in its major season, its minor season rains were expected to start in September to coincide with the planting and other processes for schools in that part of the country.
The food and agriculture minister indicated that MoFA would give the schools the same support being extended to farmers under the main Planting for Food and Jobs programme, including improved seeds, fertilisers and extension services.
Another important aspect of the initiative, the minister explained, was that it would engender competition among the schools as the best schools in farming would receive awards.
"We have to catch them young because that is one sure way of moving this nation forward,” he said.
The Planting for Food and Jobs programme, a flagship agricultural policy of the government, is meant to help address the declining growth of the country’s agricultural sector.
The programme is also geared towards increasing food productivity, ensuring food security for the country, reducing the food import bill, as well as serving as an avenue to modernise agriculture and make it a source of employment for the teeming youth.
Again, it is a clarion call to Ghanaians to take farming as a serious business to be dones full time or part time.