General News of Friday, 6 October 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday said Ghana could be a hub for food production in Sub-Saharan Africa if Ghanaians embraced agricultural programmes being rolled out by government.
President Akufo-Addo said the country was blessed with numerous agricultural potentials and government was prepared to tap such potentials through the ‘planting for food and jobs policy’ which is aimed at promoting quality agricultural activities and ensuring food security in the country.
The President who addressed the Chiefs and people of the Garu-Tempane traditional area when he inspected the Tamde Irrigational Project in the Garu-Tempane district of the Upper East Region as part of his two-day working visit said government was focusing on facilitating the smooth running of the ‘one village-one dam project’ which would complement the planting for food and jobs programme.
He explained that when this was done, every Ghanaian would be encouraged and confident to venture into farming for food and eventually food stuff would be in abundance for local consumption and export to countries in the sub-region.
President Akufo Addo said about 250,000 farmers had registered to be supported under the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme(PFJP) this year, adding that plans were far advanced to support farmers with logistics including farm inputs, fertilizer subsidy among others to ensure quality food production.
Touching on the free education programme, he said government was aware of the challenges confronting the programme, including the logistics and infrastructure challenges, and indicated that efforts were being made to resolve them in the shortest possible time.
The President indicated that it was very important for every young person to have access to free and quality education, and noted that, regardless of the shortcomings involved in rolling out the Free SHS system, the younger generations must not be denied the right to access a deserving right.
The President assured the people of government’s willingness to revamp the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and restructure the health system in the country to provide quality health services to the door steps of the citizenry.
He charged stakeholders including traditional authorities to fight smuggling in all its forms including subsidised fertilizers outside the country as it was criminal and detrimental to the development of agriculture in the country.
“The fertilizers are meant for producing food for consumption and so it is illegal for anybody to indulge in that act”, he warned.
The President announced the creation of new districts in the area and said the Tempane area met all the conditions to have its own district and therefore was being considered to be elevated to a district status.
Mr Jacob Jambeidu, spokesperson for the chiefs in the area, commended the president for implementing the free senior high school programme, the restoration of the teacher and nurse’s allowance among others.
He lamented on the lack of health facilities in the district and called on the President to consider providing the area with a district hospital as the about 190,000 people living in the district travel to Bawku and other nearby districts to access health care which had been a worry to the people.
He called on government to improve on the road network and connect communities in the district to the national grid to improve on their socio-economic lives.
The President earlier inspected work on the Bolgatanga-Bawku road which is a major link road between Ghana and her neighbours including Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and other West African states.