Over 3,000 young people have been employed under government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme which was launched in January 2017.
The Minister of Finance , Ken Ofori-Atta, who made this known whiles presenting the 2018 Budget and Policy statement in Parliament today , [Wednesday], indicated that a total of 2,160 university graduates and 1,070 youth were employed under the programme, to register and provide extension services to farmers across the country.
According to the Minister, “121, 000 MT of subsidized fertilizers and 4, 454.98 MT of subsidized seeds of cereal, legumes and vegetables have been distributed to beneficiary farmers.”
“The programme also registered suppliers to distribute farm produce to public institutions including the School Feeding Programme, the Free Senior High School Programme, Prisons, Defence and Police, among others to ensure availability of quality food in a timely manner in these institutions,” the Minister added.
Boosting Planting for Food and Jobs
Planting for Food and Jobs, which is expected to to be rolled out in all 216 districts across the country, involves the supply of farm resources such seedlings to participating farmers, and its first phase targeted the creation of more than 750,000 jobs.
Mr. Ofori Atta noted that, investments under the Planting for Food and Jobs will be scaled up.
But the government wants APA to take numerous steps further, as duties on agriculture processing equipment are expected to be abolished along with support granted to agribusiness start-ups.
Minimizing the risk of agriculture financing will also be a target of the government, through agriculture financing and crop insurance schemes.
Funds from the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), could possibly be diverted to “increase the pace of agriculture mechanization,” according to the Finance Minister.
Major milestones achieved under Planting for Food & Jobs
The Minister also outlined what he termed as “major milestones achieved nationwide” under the programme. These include :
• The Distribution of about 80,000 bags of cereal and legume seeds, 36,000 sachets of vegetable seeds and about 2,000,000 bags of fertilizer
• Recruitment of 822 agricultural extension personnel
• Establishment of a task-force to assess status of warehouses and storage facilities nationwide for rehabilitation
• Creation of market opportunities for farmers by linking them with institutional buyers such as School Feeding Programme and Prisons Service.
• Electronic registration of over 34, 000 farmers out of more than 200,000 manually registered
The Planting for Food and Jobs programme is one of the government’s flagship programs aimed at improving agricultural production in the country.
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.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana