General News of Saturday, 8 July 2017
A total of 2,170 National Service Personnel have been posted to serve under the government’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ program expected to be rolled out this year.
According to the acting Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Ussif Mustapha, this was to promote the President Akufo-Addo’s vision of transforming the agricultural sector in the country.
The Planting for Food and Jobs program is one of the government’s flagship programs aimed at improving agricultural production in the country.
The program government is expected roll out the program in all 216 districts of the country and will involve the supply of farm resources such as high yielding and improved seedlings to participating farmers.
The farmers will also get agrochemicals such as fertilizer at reduced prices. The government said the program will create some 750,000 jobs and would motivate farmers to grow staple foods such as maize, millet, and beans.
Before the deployed personnel commence work on September 1, the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana has cast doubt on their ability to do a good job and has said their engagement for extension services as part of the ‘Planting for Food and Job’ program will make the program unsuccessful.
The Programme Officer for the Association, Charles Kwowe Nyaaba, in a Citi News interview said, “The approach of recruiting extension service personnel to help in the programme is wrong. If you go to the Ministry of Agriculture at the district level, you have the extension officers there who are not able to visit farming communities because of lack of logistics. You leave all these people hanging there and you say you are bringing National Service personnel to train them to go and train the farmers. At the end of the day, if you don’t take care, they would rather go and be learning from the farmers and that is not going to give us the impact that we are looking for.”