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Gov’t To Register 500,000 Farmers For “Planting For Food And Jobs”   
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Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of Horticulture, Hon. George Oduro says, government is happy with the number of Ghanaian Farmers expressing interest the “Planting for Food and Jobs” Programme across the country, adding that, it is a sign that the Policy has been accepted and therefore sustainable.

According to the Deputy Minister, even though some challenges obstructed the smooth implementation of the “Planting for Food and Jobs” Programme in 2017, government’s target of working with 200,000 farmers across the country was exceeded.

A total of 201,620 Farmers were registered and participated in the “Planting for Food and Jobs” Programme in 2017, as well as a total of 745,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to Hon. George Oduro.

On the back of a successful implementation of the Programme, the Deputy Minister announced at Sandema during a working tour to the Builsa North District that, government is targeting a total of 500,000 farmers to be registered under the “Planting for Food and Jobs” Programme in 2018.

He gave the assurance that, government has made some budgetary allocation to address unexpected challenges that may obstruct the programme this year, including possible evasion of farms by the Fall Army Worms.

Many of the Farmers who had the opportunity to host the Deputy Minister on their farms complained about lack of storage facilities to keep their farm produce after harvesting and want government to take the construction of Warehouses seriously, to encourage more farmers to go into large scale farming under the “Planting for Food and Jobs” Programme.

One of the Farmers the Minister interacted with at Chuchuliga, said he harvested 180 bags of Maize and currently keeping them on a walk-way in his house, because there is no warehouse in the area to keep them

He attributed his yield to the support he received from the “Planting for Food and Jobs” Programme, adding, “… if the rainfall had been good and the army worm had not attack my farm, am sure I would have harvested more Maize than the 180 bags.”

Another Farmer, Samuel Abiayega, National Best Livestock Farmer for 2016, told the Deputy Minister that, he had to increase his farm size from 76 acres to 150 acres due to the support he had from the “Planting for Food and Jobs” in 2017 and looks forward to maintaining the farm size or increasing it, depending to the quantum of support from the Programme this year.

Unlike the Chuchuliga farmer, the National Best Livestock Farmer, Mr. Abiayega, has a small storage facility which he described as, too small to handle his vision in the coming years.

He called on government to support farmers in the district with big warehouses to store their farm produce harvesting.

At Akandem Farm at Sandema, the Farm Manager, Solomon Akanpisi commended the government for the commitment to start the Programme despite many obstacles, saying, the Company’s Out Growers for the first time in many years produced more than the Company.

In 2017, the Akandem Farm produced a total of 641 bags of Maize from its 421 acre land. According to the Farm Manager the number was below their target and attributed that to poor rainfall in 2017. However, their Out-Growers produced a total of 871 bags of Maize, which exceeded their target for the year, and attributed the good yield to the support from the “Planting for Food and Jobs” Programme and the use of best farming practices.

Touching on the appeals for ready market for the farm produce, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, assured the farmers that, some measures have been put in place to buy their produced for the National Buffer Stock, to be distributed to Schools across the country for consumption.
Source: Daily Guide

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