Don’t misapply $120m meant for “Planting for Food and Jobs initiative – GAWU

Business News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Source: B&FT


Edward KarewehGeneral Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers Union Edward Kareweh

The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), has cautioned the Akufo-Addo government, against the misappropriation of the $120m funds meant for the “Planting for Food and Jobs” intiative.

According to the GAWU, the government must ensure that, the right supervisory and monitoring mechanisms are instituted to allow for the objectives of the funds to be achieved.

The General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers Union Edward Kareweh, who welcomed governments moves to revamp the ailing agricultural sector said, government must avoid repeating mistakes of the past administration in implementing the project.

“They can reduce the loses, they can reduce the poor management of this fund by taking into account what has happened to previous projects. We have no problem about their commitment to seeing the realization of the project but they should also device supervision and monitoring mechanism to ensure that no one misses up with the fund ensuring that the funds are used properly.”

Mr. Kareweh, called for further collaboration by government, with all stakeholders in the agric sector to ensure a smooth and proper disbursement of the “Planting for Food and Jobs” project funds.

His comment comes after the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during his maiden state of the nation address revealed that, his government has secured $125million from the Canadian government to support a national agricultural campaign dubbed “Planting for food and Jobs”.

According to the President, the initiative together with others in the agric sector, is aimed at ensuring all year farming through irrigation farming and also to create jobs for the employed youth.

He said, this will help curb the upsurge of food imports into the country to improve and maximize agricultural activities in the country as the district assemblies will also be tasked to identify and register progressive farmers in each of the 216 districts starting from the three Northern Regions.

Canadian Government inject $120m US Dollars into Planting For Food and Jobs initiative

The Canadian Government is set to inject a total of $120m US Dollars (125m Canadian Dollars) into the Planting For Food and Jobs initiative being spearheaded by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The agreement for the release of the funds was signed at the Finance Ministry.

It forms part of the Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) Project which forms part of efforts by government to reverse the declining growth of the agric sector over the past eight years.

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ken Ofori-Atta, signed on behalf of Ghana whilst the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ms Heather Anne Cameron, signed on behalf of her country. It was also witnessed by the Chief of Staff, Mrs. Frema Opare Addo and the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto.

The amount the understands, will be released in five trunches over the next five years and will go into two main components of the program including purchasing and supply of improved seedlings as well as extension services support for beneficiary farmers to be captured under the initiative.

Meanwhile, other development partners including the Korean and Israeli Governments have also pledged to support the program which is expected to take off in the coming crop season.