Mr Bryan Acheampong, the Minister of Food and Agriculture has inaugurated a nine-member committee to take stock of agricultural lands countrywide and reclaim them for commercial agriculture and research.
The committee is to investigate encroached lands, identify the encroachers and submit a report in three months.
It is also to come up with an appropriate deterrent and remedial action to address the encroachment.
Speaking at a brief inauguration ceremony in Accra, Mr Acheampong said the initiative would play a key role in the implementation of the soon to be outdoored Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Phase II.
The Committee is chaired by Mr Julius Opoku Agyei, with Mr Andy Appiah-Kubi, Peter Antwi, Nana Yaa Nortey, Winfred Kuma Apaw, Mr William Arthur, Paul Siameh and Mr Clemence Gyato as members.
The Minister said encroachment of land earmarked for agriculture activities, including breeding centres, training institutions, State farms, research stations and mechanisation centres had undermined Government’s efforts to promote the development of agriculture.
“Records indicate that these lands were acquired by Executive Instrument or through voluntary releases by traditional authorities to support agriculture,” he said.
“we cannot sit unconcerned to allow this to happen, especially when these lands can be put to productive use to serve the purpose for which they were intended, contrary to what some may think.”
Mr Julius Opoku Agyei thanked the Minister for the opportunity to serve and assured him of the committee’s commitment to deliver on its mandate.
Government will this month outdoor PFJ Phase II, with a focus on cooperative farming where inputs will be distributed through aggregators to nuclear farmer groups.