Food and Agriculture Minister Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto on Tuesday told Parliament that the Government’s flagship agricultural programme “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJ) has recorded overwhelming success, and the general outcome of implementation has been very positive and inspiring.
He said an objective assessment of the campaign for PFJ reveals increased adoption of certified seeds, increased participation of private seeds companies and locally produced seeds and increased production of some maize, rice soya and sorghum.
Other areas of success, the Minister said, are increased production of staple foods crops, creation of on-farm and off-farm jobs, enhanced availability and accessibility to mart by small scale holder farmers through activities of the Buffer Stock Company and export of farm products such as grains, plantain, yam and fruits.
Dr Afriyie Akoto’s success story of the PFJ, was in answer to a question by Mr. Mohammed Abdul Aziz, MP for Mion, on the performance outcomes of the Government’s “PFJ” programme.
According to the Minister, there was an increase in the nation’s agricultural growth rate from about three percent to 6.1 percent in 2018, and “its overall contribution to Ghana’s economy bears ample testimony to the overwhelming success.”
“Mr Speaker, let me assure you on account of this positive development, that, by the close of the year 2019, and three years into the implementation of this programme, the agricultural sector would have been rebuilt on a solid foundation.
“It will indeed be a great source of honour to have Members of Parliament come on board to share in the success of the PFJ and become strong allies of the Ministry in the prosecution of this transformation agenda, “Dr Afriyie Akoto said.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo rolled out the PFJ in April 2017 as government’s strategy for revamping the agricultural sector, whose performance by 2015 stood at 2.8%.
The launch of the PFJ campaign, the Minister said, signalled a new chapter of comprehensive action to modernise and transform agriculture which was challenged by a low adoption of improved seeds by farmers, low use of fertiliser, depleted and ineffective agricultural extension service, low yields of major staple crops and low access to markets, especially by smallholder farmers.
As a consequence, and in direct response to the challenges, the national strategy of the PFJ campaign was anchored on five pillars, which are: seeds, fertilizer, extension services, marketing and e-agriculture.
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