The Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Abubakari II, has described as laudable the implementation of various development policies and initiatives by the government, especially in the agricultural sector.
He said policies such as Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), agricultural mechanisation, green house agriculture, among others, had supported people in the agricultural value chain and, therefore, entreated the government to ensure that those programmes were sustained.
"I can say without doubt that my people have benefitted a lot from your policies and programmes, especially seed and fertiliser supply, which has seen massive improvement since your government assumed power in 2017," the Overlord added.
He said agriculture was the mainstay of the people, for which reason the government must prioritise the sector with the provision of adequate equipment and farm inputs to help improve yields and the welfare of the people.
The Ya-Na made gave the commendation when the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, led a team of officials from the ministry to pay a courtesy call on him at the Gbewah Palace in Yendi as part of the minister’s working visit to the Northern Region.
The minister will also interact with farmers, staff of the ministry and stakeholders in the region.
Ya-Na Abubakari, however, observed that in spite of the effort by the government, the people were still faced with numerous development challenges, including unemployment and poverty.
He, therefore, urged the government to come up with more innovative ways of creating jobs and providing social amenities for the accelerated development of the people and the country at large.
Dr Akoto expressed appreciation to the Ya-Na for fostering peace and development in the Dagbon Traditional Area.
He said the government would not renege on its responsibilities but continue to create opportunities for the people by implementing initiatives that responded to their needs and aspirations.
The minister said the government, with the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB), had introduced a number of programmes, such as the Savanna Accelerated Productivity Improvement Programme (SAPIP) and the Savanna Infrastructural Programme (SIP), which he said were being implemented in the five regions of the north because of the contribution of the people there to the growth of the agricultural sector in the country.
The projects, which began some three years ago, would be extended to other regions soon, he said.
Dr Akoto later visited the Cudjoe Abimash Farms at Sanzee in the Mion District, where he interacted with a group of workers of SAPIP and SIP, both major components of the PFJ programme.
“The government recognises the immense contribution of farmers, some of whom were rewarded at this year's National Farmers Day, with Alhaji Mashud Mohammed from this region being adjudged the Overall National Best Farmer,” he said.
Dr Akoto also visited the Yumzaa Shea Butter, a shea processing centre in the Tamale metropolis.
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