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Government Makes Progress With Agriculture Initiatives   
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Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta
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The Government on Monday said it is making giant progress regarding its agriculture modernization programme aimed at ensuring reliable production for food security.

The sector would be the basis of government’s industrialization, job creation and export drive as well as help reduce the amount of foreign exchange spent on imports.

Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, was presenting the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy & Supplementary Estimates, to parliament in Accra.

He said since the onset of the Planting for Food and Jobs in 2017, domestic food production had increased significantly - maize yield increased by 72 per cent, rice by 24 per cent, soybean by 39 per cent and sorghum 100 per cent.

The Finance Minister said as at June, this year, the Fertilizer and Seed Subsidy component of the programme, had covered about 40 per cent of targeted farmers comprising of farmers in the Southern sector.

This is because the Northern sector-planting season is yet to start.

He announced that the construction of 30 warehouses with 1,000 metric tonnes capacity each, were being built across the country to provide storage facilities and reduce post- harvest losses.

He said five warehouses had been completed at Kwame Danso, Bole, Yagba, Dzodze and Chindiri.

He touched on the recently launched ‘Rearing for Food and Jobs’ and said a total of 53,500 livestock - sheep, pigs, cockerels and guinea fowls, had been distributed to some beneficiary farmers.

He also spoke about the fight against the fall armyworm attack on crop farms, saying, a total farm area of 34,396 hectares had been sprayed and recovered.

This, he added had prevented the loss of about 106,627 metric tonnes of maize valued at about GH¢170.60 million.

On irrigation facilities, the Minister said government had completed the Guo and Piiyiri dams making available 36 hectares of irrigable land for cropping, while the Tamne and Mprumem dams were at various stages of completion.

These additional dams when completed, would add a total area of 520 hectares for all year round cropping.

Under the One Village One Dam initiative, he said contracts for the construction of 14 small dams and 100 solar powered groundwater irrigation systems had been awarded.
Source: GNA

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