Agriculture Modernisation Programme makes significant strides – Finance Minister

Priscilla Oye Ofori, GNA

Accra, Nov. 14, GNA
–  Mr Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance
at the presentation of the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to
Parliament on Wednesday said the Agriculture Modernisation Programme has
progressed over the last three years.

He said government
has delivered this agenda through its key flagship initiative – ‘Planting for
Food and Jobs’ under the various modules including ‘Food Crop Production’,
‘Planting for Export and Rural Development’, ‘Rearing for Food and Jobs’,
‘Greenhouse Technology Development’ and ‘Mechanisation for Food and Jobs’.

Mr Ofori Atta said
in 2017, when the government assumed office, growth in the agriculture sector
had declined.

The government’s
Agriculture Modernisation Programme was, therefore, aimed at improving
production efficiency, achieving food security, and profitability for the
farmers, and significantly increasing agricultural productivity as the basis
for industrialisation, job creation and export.

The Minister said
under the ‘Food Crop Production’ module, sixteen selected commodities were
being promoted. They include maize, rice, sorghum, soybean plantain,
vegetables, orange flesh and sweet potato.

He added that
between 2017 and 2018, a total subsidy in the form of 12,000 metric tonnes of
organic and 821,778 metric tonnes of blended inorganic fertilisers as well as
24,000 metric tonnes improved seeds valued at GH¢0.6 billion were provided to
about 1.9 million farmers.

Mr Ofori Atta said
government intends to increase subsides on retail prices of seeds, fertilisers
and other agrochemicals and focus on developing irrigation schemes.

He said government
would facilitate the provision of community owned and managed small-scale
irrigation facilities across the country especially in northern Ghana, through
the policy of ‘‘One Village, One Dam’’, and improve the ratio of extension
officers to farmers.