250,000 farmers to benefit from first phase of Planting for Food and Jobs

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Food and Agriculture Minister

Government is targeting 250,000 farmers to kick-start its agriculture flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will launch the programme in Goaso in the Bono Ahafo region next week Wednesday.

An amount of ₵560 million has been set aside for the project which aims at increasing the agricultural yield and create jobs.

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Food and Agriculture Minister, told JoyNews’ Elton Brobbey, the project will revamp and make farming attractive.

The Minister explained that he hasn’t “been in office for two and half months and yet we’ve been able to mobilise all these huge resources, register nearly 200,000 farmers… advertise for the supply of seeds and fertilizers. Recruit over 1,200 extension officers,” who were graduates.

His ministry, he noted, is getting ready for the rains and Nurah Gyeile, Minister of State for Agriculture, is already touring the Northern region to that effect.

Dr. Akoto explained that half of the ₵560 million will go into the help increase fertilizer supply by cutting down cost and making it affordable for the farmers.

The ₵560 million, which is to support the pilot phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, is expected to generate ₵1.3 billion revenue.

In about four years, a minimum of 2.5 million farmers are expected to benefit from the programme, the Minister noted.

“That is the scale at which we want to affect agriculture productivity and in the process, create a lot of jobs. We are talking about 750,000 jobs this season alone. This huge unemployment amongst the youth in this country is going to be cracked by this strategy…,” Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto added.