Agric Sector Will Not Be Politicised – Dep Min
A Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, George Oduro, has reiterated government’s commitment to improve the lives of farmers in the country by modernizing the agric sector.
Also, he assured that the government’s interventions in the sector through pragmatic policies will not be politicized, stressing that every single Ghanaian who deserves to benefit will have his or her fair share.
“Issues of agriculture will not be an NPP/NDC matter,” said Mr. Oduro in his address to the chiefs and people Ahafo in the Brong Ahafo region.
According to him, politicization of government programmes, particularly in the area of agriculture has not in the past, helped the development of farmers thus the current administration’s resolve to change the narrative.
Touching on the Ministry’s efforts to engage various stakeholders in the implementation of government’s flagship “Planting for Food and Jobs” campaign, Mr. Oduro urged traditional rulers to rally their subjects to participate in the programme.
The government, he stated is ready to offer incentives to the youth to go into farming, stressing that the success story has been evidenced in the smooth implementation of the pilot phase of the programme in 2017.
Mr. Oduro who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for New Edubiase observed that government in the 2018 crop season intends to register about half a million farmers and similarly support them with incentives to increase productivity and improve their income.
It was for this reason that MOFA was soliciting the cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the move, he explained.
He continued that under the planned farmers’ registration policy a guaranteed ready market for farmers through a comprehensive arrangements with aggregators will be assured, stressing that with the introduction of the Warehouse Receipt System, farmers can now access financial support from banks using their receipts as collateral.
Whilst commending the chiefs of the Ahafo enclave for their decision to allocate about 40,000 acres of land for the ‘Planting for Food’ programme, the Deputy Minister promised that government through Agric Ministry will give them the needed support.
Chiefs pledge support
The traditional rulers from the Ahafo enclave spanning Tepa, Maaban, Goaso, Acherensua, Bechem, Asuhyiae during the interaction pledged to allocate 40,000 acres towards farming in their areas.
Twenty thousand acres of the pledged land will be used for rice production while the remaining will go into the cultivation of bamboo for the generation of electricity and other products.
The project, being spearheaded by the Paramount Chief of Maaban, Nana Darko Montwi II, is expected to create jobs for youths in the catchment communities.
Nana Darko Montwi II in his address, disclosed that investors for the bamboo project have already visited the area to do a feasibility study.
He therefore commended the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, for lending his support to the project.
On his part, Nana Atwerewaa Ampem II, the Paramount Chief of the Tepa Traditional Area, said there was no doubt agriculture holds the key to solving the numerous youth unemployment in the country.
He therefore indicated his full support towards the Planting for Food and Jobs campaign and encouraged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to pursue the project.