Planting for Food and Jobs: Agric interest groups make key proposals to govt

Some stakeholders in the agriculture sector want the government to ensure its flagship policy to improve production does not fizzle out or fail like similar initiatives by past governments have suffered.

The Ghana Agriculture Chamber of Commerce and the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) both say although the Planting for Food and Jobs, which was launched yesterday by President Nana Akufo-Addo holds promise, there is still more to be done.

Programmes Officer of PFAG, Charles Nyaba, said on PM Express on the Joy News channel (Multi TV) that there are issues with the policy in its current state that needs urgent attention.

For instance, he faults the policy’s targeted beneficiaries.

He sees the at least five-acre land requirement set for beneficiaries of the project as a major setback.

According to him, over 80% of farmers in Ghana own less than five acres of land.

Also, President of the Ghana Agriculture Chamber of Commerce, Philip Abayori, recommends that just like the Operation Feed Yoursel under the General Kutu Acheampong’s time, the government can legislate that a quota of the loan portfolio must go the agric sector.

This, Mr Abayori said, will make private sector participation in the Planting for Food and Jobs truly competitive.

The President on Wednesday launched the project in Goaso in the Brong Ahafo Region with a promise to build a warehouse in every district of the country to help preserve food stuffs in anticipation of increased yields.

Some 200, 000 farmers in the region are set to benefit when the programme rolls out.

In the 2017 budget, the government earmarked GHȻ560 million for the initiative expected to create over 70, 000 jobs.

The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, reveals the programme will cover 2.5 million farmers nationwide after the pilot process.

Discussing the project on PM Express Wednesday, Messers Nyaba and Abayori offered insightful contributions to the government for the success of the project.

Watch more from the discussion on PM Express in the video link below.