The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo Addo has stated government’s flagship programme; Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) has succeeded in increasing Ghana’s food security.
He disclosed the PFJ with major focus on improving productivity by the use modern technology on the farm has churned new opportunities for diversified agricultural exports for the country.
The President made these revelation at the 38th Farmers Day Celebration which was marked in Koforidua yesterday, December 2 2022.
He emphasized, “Our flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), with its focus on improving farm productivity, through the use of technology on farms, has succeeded in increasing our food security, and opened up new opportunities for diversifying our agricultural exports by promoting six (6) tree crops for future substantial foreign exchange earnings.
“In 2016, Government inherited production levels of 1.7 million metric tonnes of maize and six hundred and sixty-five thousand metric tons of rice (665,000). Under the PFJ, maize production reached 3.4 million tonnes by 2021 and rice to 1.2 million metric tonnes.”
Nana Addo attributed the achievements in the sector to the hardworking farmers, fishers and value chain actors who according to him embraced the PFJ policies, and leveraged the opportunities created by the enabling environment for agricultural development.
He hinted by design Planting for Food and Jobs targets other sectors under agric with promising results.
The targets, he pointed provided its ‘Rearing for Food Jobs’ module, about 134,400 birds and small ruminants were distributed to 1,254 beneficiaries in 2022 alone, adding, “In addition, 900,000 broiler day old chicks (chicken), together with nine hundred metric tons of feed and vaccines, have been contracted out for supply to farmers 2023.
He said under the livestock sector, government has released GH¢15.6 million as payment of compensation to two hundred and eighty (280) farms affected by the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza.
The President added there are support for disease surveillance, public awareness creation, capacity building and the procurement of motorbikes for operational activities to enhance early detection, prevention and disease management.
He observed as part of institutional strengthening for the Veterinary Services Directorate, five hundred and fifty veterinary officers and allied staff have been recruited this year.
Nana boasted, “The achievements of my government include the promotion of selected tree crops to diversify export earnings from the sector.
“For more than a century, Ghana has relied heavily on cocoa for foreign exchange earnings, whilst the potential for several other tree crops remains untapped. By an Act of Parliament, the Tree Crop Development Authority was established in 2020, to coordinate and promote the development of six tree crops, namely cashew, rubber, oil palm, coconut, mango and shea.
“At maturity, these selected crops will have the combined potential of generating annually an additional twelve billion dollars ($12 billion) to supplement the annual two billion dollars ($2 billion) from cocoa.”