Minister Defends 745,000 Jobs
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, has backed claims that government has created 745,000 jobs under the Planting for Food & Jobs programme.
This follows doubts expressed by financial and political analyst Joe Jackson, who described the Agriculture Minister’s figure as a lie.
“In my worse state, I think they lied about the statistics, in my best days I say they don’t know the numbers. Let me repeat: when I’m feeling most benevolent, I feel that he doesn’t know the numbers, when I’m feeling angrier, I think he’s plain lying and that’s the truth. That’s how I feel, I may be wrong but that’s how I feel. If you created 745,000 jobs, believe me, this country will change overnight. If 745,000 more people went into agriculture, I will feel it in my pocket, I’ll feel it in market prices, I’ll feel it in the number of people still looking for jobs,” he told Moro Awudu on the Executive Break Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Thursday, 25 January, 2018.
In a rebuttal on the same show, however, Mr Nyarko said: “My boss was right with the 745,000 jobs. Planting for Food & Jobs has been able to create both direct and indirect jobs of 745,000. Maybe my boss did not go into detail.”
Giving the breakdown, Mr Nyarko explained that the Ministry registered some 2,200 new farmers under the programme and hired 1,200 agriculture extension agents.
He said 1,303 licensed aggregators were also employed to buy produce directly from farmers, adding that as part of the requirement to be a licensed aggregator, the aggregators were also to engage a certain number of workers.
“Government also engaged some suppliers who also take the produce from Planting for Food & Jobs and supply to schools for Free SHS…so, we put the numbers together,” he explained.