General News of Friday, 21 February 2020
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says another good example of deliberate, well-thought-out policy, executed through hard work and commitment, that is generating dividends, is what his Government has done about food and agriculture in the past three (3) years.
According to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, “agriculture was very much in the doldrums when we came into office, with a growth rate of 2.9%. We introduced the programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, and set about to make agriculture an attractive profession.”
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo told Parliament of Ghana on Thursday, 20th February, 2020, when he delivered his Message on the State of the Nation that “we invested resources, expertise and time, and the results have been impressive and rewarding. Growth rate in 2017 was 6.1%, and this increased to 6.4% last year.”
Increased production and high yields of some foodstuffs like maize, rice, sorghum, groundnuts, soyabean, cowpea, cassava and plantain, he said, have led to a decrease in the wholesale prices in market centers in major food-producing areas.
Furthermore, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo told Parliament of Ghana that the country no longer imports of maize, adding that “we are reducing our dependence on rice imports, and are now, in effect, net exporters of foodstuffs. Food prices are at their lowest in decades.”
Having recruited some 2,700 agricultural extension agents to give practical expertise on the farms, President Akufo-Addo added that “with the support of Canada, three hundred (300) vehicles and three thousand (3,000) motorbikes have been deployed around the country for ease of movement for those tasked to help the farmers.”
The National Food and Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO), he said, has been revitalised to enhance agricultural marketing, and improve access to market, with the Ghana Commodities Exchange in Ghana, which is fully operational, i promoting high productivity, price stability, increased exports, and reduced imports of commodities.
“To increase storage capacity, eighty (80) warehouses, each of a size of one thousand metric tonnes, are being built around the country. Thirty-five (35) have been completed by the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives, and thirteen (13) by the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture will complete the remaining seventeen (17) soon, and the Special Development Initiatives Ministry will complete another ten (10) by June,” he said.
Government’s drive towards diversification, the President told Parliament of Ghana, has led to the implementation of the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) module, which is promoting the cultivation of cashew, coffee, coconut, oil palm, mango, rubber and shea.
“The Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) programme is developing a competitive and more efficient livestock industry that will increase domestic meat production and reduce importation of livestock. Two hundred and sixty-five (265) small earth dams have been completed under the 1-Village-1-Dam initiative. More will be done this year,” he added.
For two consecutive years now, according to the President, fisherfolk have accepted a close season, and allowed fishes to spawn without disturbance in our waters.
“Constructions of the ten (10) long-promised, much-publicised landing sites, in Senya Beraku, Elmina, Moree, Mumford, Winneba, Gomoa Fetteh, Dixcove, Axim, Teshie and Keta, have finally started. Axim, Dixcove, Senya Beraku and Gomoa Fetteh will be completed by the end of this year, with the remainder being completed early next year. Construction of the Jamestown Harbour will commence in March, following the completion of technical work,” he said.