The newly appointed Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has announced the kick-start of a project termed ‘Planting for Food & Jobs programme’ under Ghana’s agricultural sector which is set to receive 125 million Canadian Dollars investment from the Canadian government. According to the minister, the project will create over 750,000 jobs for the youth. The project is scheduled to commence this March and to continue during the next farming season this year. The project seeks to create a sustainable food security structure for all people across the country. Planting for Food & Jobs will be operating under five main components: supply of improved seedlings, provision of fertilisers, extension services, marketing for produce and e-agriculture. Ken Ofori-Atta – Ghana’s Finance Minister represented the government of Ghana to sign the agreement which allows the release of the funds. The Canada government was represented by Ms Heather Anne Cameron, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana.
Commenting on the development in Ghana’s agricultural sector, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto mentioned that there is a need to generate more wealth in the agricultural sector to be able to improve the livelihood of our farmers and fisher folk, and help grow the national economy. He furthered to say “It is in recognition of this that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in its manifesto of 2016, promised to modernise agriculture. In this regard, the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo plans to launch a national campaign with the slogan: ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’. This campaign is designed to encourage all citizens both urban and rural, to take up farming as a full-time and part-time activity. It is intended to structure it along the lines of operation Feed Yourself Programme in the 1970s. This year, the spearhead of the campaign will involve the production of rice, soya beans, sorghum and vegetables. Other crops will be adopted in subsequent years.”