By Linda Dede Nyanya Godji
The President of the republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo has reiterated government’s continuous effort to make agricultural more attractive to the youth and the educated through the modernization, mechanization and the use of Technology.
He stated that government through its flagship program “Planting for Food and jobs” (PFJ), has seen a significant boost in agriculture with an increased growth rate of 6.1% and 6.4% in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
The President made this known in his State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday, February 20, 2020. He stated that the intervention by government has made agriculture an attractive profession for many in the country and has contributed to the increased in production of foodstuffs.
In his words, “Increased production and high yields of some foodstuffs like maize, rice, sorghum, groundnuts, soyabean, cowpea, cassava and plantain have led to a decrease in the wholesale prices in market centers in major food producing areas”. For this reason, the country is no longer importers of maize, and reducing the dependence on rice imports.
Highlights of the some of the efforts by government to ensuring the success of the project include the following:
- The National Food and Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) revitalised to enhance agricultural marketing, and improve access to market.
- Thirty (35) warehouses out of the Eighty (80) earmarked completed to increase storage capacity of produce.
- Digital and internet maps of soil fertility status in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone to facilitate informed decision making on fertilizer formulation and application.
- Two thousand, seven hundred (2,700) agricultural extension agents recruited to give practical expertise on the farms designated for the project.
- An electronic platform established to capture and monitor the activities of participating farmers. So far, five hundred thousand (500,000) farmers biometrically registered.