By Nana Antwi Boasiako-Metro 90.5FM,Sunyani
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister for Food and Agriculture on Tuesday inaugurated Brong Ahafo regional technical committee for the implementation of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ campaign in Sunyani, with a call on the youth and the public to go into commercial farming.
“The “Planting for Foods and Jobs Campaign” will focus initially on four key commodity value chains: maize, rice, soybean and sorghum” he added,
He said the technical team has been constituted in order to coordinate and monitor the main activities along the five pillars of the campaign.
According to him, the regional technical committee will also monitor the implementation of the program in the municipalities and districts to ensure that municipal and district technical committees which will be constituted to implement activities are captured in the action plan.
The Minister said “This campaign is designed to encourage all citizens both urban and rural, to take up farming as a full time and part time activity. It is intended to structure it along the lines of operation Feed Yourself Programme in the 1970s. The campaign will involve the production of rice, soya beans, sorghum and vegetables.”
“The secondary objective of the campaign is to provide job opportunities for the term unemployed youth in the agriculture and allied sectors. Through this policy intervention and strategic direction about 750,000 jobs, in both direct and indirect employment especially for the youth would be created during the first year. Also the tertiary objective is to create general awareness for all formal workers to either have farms or grow some cereals or vegetables establish backyards gardens, when enough land is not available and accessible”.
“You may recall that during the 2016 electioneering campaign, one of the key messages of the NPP was to modernize agriculture, improve food production efficiency, achieve food security, and profitability for our farmers, all aimed at significantly increasing agricultural productivity” he added.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said about 3,760723 MT of produce at a value of GH1.3billion would be created this year, 2017 from the programme, “compare to 2016 production level of 2,782,44 at a value of GH0.7 billion”.
“To ensure that the Campaign acts as a catalyst and forerunner of the agricultural transformation in the country, the programme, is anchored on five pillars 1) the provision of improved seeds, (2) supply of fertilizers,(3) provision of dedicated extension services, (4) marketing strategy and the infusion of (5) electronic platform in undertaking all activities in food and agriculture-e Agriculture”.
He said about 750,000 jobs, in both direct and indirect employment especially for the youth would be created during the first year.
Meanwhile Brong Ahafo regional Minister, Lawyer Kwaku Asomah Cheremeh who Chairs the committee in a speech stressed the need for expect to abide by the technicalities involved to implement the programme extremely well.
The Minister said huge amount has been fused into the project hence the need all to ensure successful implementation of the programme.
He reiterates the need for registered farmers to be educated on the projects ongoing
Lawyer Kwaku Asomah Cheremeh also called on the ministry for food and agriculture to make use of specialty personnel to make technicalities involved to all the stakeholders.
He said extension officers who would be drawn to the programme should be able to work to support the farmers to implement the programme successfully
The programme was attended by Regional Director of Agriculture, Dr. Cyril Quist and all the Municipal and District Agric officers in region.