The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Akoto Afriyie, has said the government’s aim is to create over five million jobs for Ghanaians under the “Planting for Food and Jobs” programme in the long-term.
“750,000 [jobs] is nothing, I want to employ five million people not 750, 000,” he said.
Dr. Owusu Akoto Afriyie’s claims that they’ve created 745,000 “unofficial” jobs under the programme across the country, have been disputed by critics who say these ventures should be classified as “activities and not jobs” as they are not sustainable for the entire year.“… The Planting for Food and Jobs campaign has absorbed this [rural] labour to the extent that we targeted 750,000 rural labour, and we were able to generate 745,000 jobs, and these jobs are unofficial jobs. They are not pensionable, they are not tax deductible so you cannot actually measure it like those in the formal sector where you are registered, you are paid a wage, you have to pay tax and so on, and therefore, it is very easy to monitor.”
“The whole idea is to generate enough jobs in our rural areas so that they would have something to do for them to stay, so that the Kayayei [Head porters] can go back to Tamale, Bolga and all those places to reach rice farmers,” the Minister said at a news conference last week.
745,000 ‘Planting for Food’ jobs are full-time
A deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, George Oduro, has also defended the figures, saying they are full-time employment ventures.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, Mr. Oduro said many of those employed under the programme help with a number of farming activities including the tilling of lands and the harvesting of crops.
“…This is [a] full-time job. You start from land preparation until harvesting…These are not jobs that you go for interviews,” he added.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana