June 2, 2020
Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr.Akoto Afriye has said Ghana’s policy on planting for food and job  has positioned it better in fighting the impact of the novel coronavirus.

According to him the nation’s growth rate of was estimated at 6.1 percent this year but because of the impact of the pandemic the growth rate has been reduce to 4 percent as government is putting in measures to ensure that the new percentage is improved.

In a briefing to journalists in Parliament after he briefed the House on the impact of the pandemic on the country’s agriculture, he pointed out that one point two million small farmers holdings are being targeted this year.

“We have increase it to one point four million farmers we are going to provide them with more fertilizers, improve seeds and hoping to be rice sufficient to do away with import of rice in the next two years”.

Dr. Afriye further told members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) government is on course with its planting for food and job programme, adding young men and women are flooding the forest regions to participate in the programme and he is impressed with what he saw after his recent tour.

On maize production, the Minister noted that the country has never had two million metric tons but three and half metric is being produced in a matter of three years.

And he is expecting that maize production would get to three and half metric tons and targeting six million metric tons and would need machineries to process them as the surplus would be supplied to the rest of West Africa.

“We are battle ready as a government to fight the COVID-19 on Ghana’s agriculture sector anyone who gives the impression that we are not doing well is not abreast and up to date with agriculture on the ground. Because we are doing well and being acknowledged on the African continent and world at large”.

And emphasized that given the intense interest shown by Ghanaian farmers in Ghana’s planting for food and job the country would increase in its growth even in the difficult period of COVID-19.

Again the small and large scale farmers have not been left out with the facilities we have gotten from Brazil. The thirty-three million dollars second tranche of two hundred and thirty-six tractors imported have gone to commercial farmers.

For small scale farmers hand held machines most suitable for three to five hectors operation have been given. He added that more are being imported including over a thousand unit together with hand held harvesters for rice farmers.

The Minister noted that the harvesters are in the yard of the Ministry and his Deputy last two weeks Friday distributed the machines to support farmers increase their yield for them to expand their farms.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com