The Food and Agriculture Minister has shot back at critics over claims of inadequate consultation on government’s Planting for Food and Jobs project.
“We cannot consult everybody” the seemingly agitated Minister retorted.
Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto said given that government is barely four-months-old, it was unable to consult all the stakeholders in the agric sector before launching the project.
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“Let’s forget about consultation [and] look at the programme to find out whether it will have the required impact,” he told Kojo Yankson on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wendesday launched one of his government’s flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs, at Goase in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The project is expected to create over 750,000 direct and indirect jobs as well as boost productivity of farmers.
The overall objective of the programme is to produce enough food to feed Ghanaians while the surplus will be exported to neighbouring countries for foreign exchange.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
It is targeted at both public and private institutions such as breweries, food precessors, schools and private individuals to take advantage of it to start their own farms.
The government has settled on five key crops for the 2017 season namely maize, rice, soya bean, sorghum, and selected vegetables.
Speaking at the launch, the President promised to build a 1,000 metric tons of warehouse at each one of the country’s 216 districts to address issues of post-harvest losses.
He said as part of the programme, government will provide improved seeds to farmers, supply fertilizers, provide dedicated extension services, marketing arrangement, as well as an electronic platform to monitor activities of participating farmers.
But some interest groups have raised issues about some implementation lapses that are likely to affect the success of the programme if they are not corrected.
The Peasant Farmers Association (PFA) said the lapses would not have come about if government had consulted the various stakeholders during the formative stage.
PFA Programmes Officer, Charles Nyaba, told Joy News it was proper to have their input into the whole programme since they are part of the beneficiaries.
But the Agric Minister said critics should focus on the relevance of the programme instead of the issue of consultation. “Let’s look at the programme as it is.”
“We have set ourselves the objective and we will deliver to the people of Ghana,” Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto said, adding they have the mandate of Ghanaians to improve on the economy.