Prez launches Planting for Food and Jobs programme on April 19

BY: Victor Kwawukume
 Dr Afriyie Akoto inaugurating the Organising Committee whose members are standing below
Dr Afriyie Akoto inaugurating the Organising Committee whose members are standing below

A national organising committee has been inaugurated and tasked with the responsibility of engaging various stakeholders in preparations towards the launch of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

The committee is chaired by the Deputy Minister designate for Information, Mr Perry Curtis Okudzeto.

Other members are Mr Asante Krobea, the Chief Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture; Mr Issah Alhassan, the Press Secretary to the Food and Agriculture Minister; Mr Frank Amoako, the Personal Assistant to the minister; Mr Theophilus Osei Owusu and Philip Osei-Nkrumah, both of the Agriculture Ministry.

They will work alongside a local organising committee (LOC) to be inaugurated in Sunyani next week.

National launch by President

The national launch of the programme, which is a flagship project of the Akufo-Addo administration, is scheduled to take place in the Brong Ahafo Region on April 19, 2017.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to perform the official launch to kick-start the campaign, which is expected to revolutionise the country's agriculture.

The aim of the project is to ensure increased food production, while cutting down on the huge foreign exchange used in importing food items into the country annually.

Project targets

The project is also targeted at creating over 750,000 direct jobs for Ghanaians who will be actively involved in the pilot phase of the project this year and who are expected to, thereafter, spearhead the government's agricultural modernisation policy for the next five years.

Towards that end, the national organising committee is expected to oversee the upcoming official launch of the project.

Inaugurating the committee, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the government was committed to creating job opportunities for the teeming youth through agricultural modernisation.

Reversing a worrying trend

He expressed worry over the declining trends of growth in the agricultural sector over the past eight years and pledged that the Akufo Addo administration would do everything possible to reverse the trend.

Dr Afriyie Akoto said the campaign would also be private sector led, adding that the government would involve the private sector at both the production and the harvesting stages in terms of value addition and the prevention of post-harvest losses.

 

He said it would also involve the supply of improved seedlings and fertiliser at subsidised prices, as well as the provision of extension services, marketing opportunities for produce and use of data collection technology for farmers.