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Gov’t Expects Bumper Harvest
 
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05-Oct-2017  
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Government says it expects to see a bumper harvest due to the implementation of its flagship ‘Planting For Food & Jobs’ initiative, which is in its first year.

Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto, who disclosed this on Tuesday in Accra at the Agriculture and Agribusiness Investment Forum organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Authority (GIPC), said his outfit had engaged the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to see how best government could use some 275 abandoned warehouses belonging to the Board to store crops, which are already being harvested.

He noted that the said warehousing facilities can provide the ministry the opportunity to harvest about 95,000 metric tonnes of farm produce.

Five main crops have been cultivated under the project, namely rice, maize, sorghum, soya beans and vegetables based on five key pillars which include provision of certified seeds, fertilizer, extension service, marketing and e-Agriculture.

It’s a success

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said “Initial indications are that the Planting For Food & Jobs programme is a success. Planting for Food and Jobs testifies to our belief in taking bold decisions to transform the agricultural sector right from the onset of our government,” according to Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

Marshal Programme

The Vice President indicated that government was looking at introducing what he termed as a “marshal plan” for the agricultural sector in the 2018 budget to ensure not just incremental achievement in the sector but major ones.

Implementing the marshal plan, according to the Vice President, will lead to structural transformation, which in tend will catalyze economic activities and connect major sectors to the national economy, lead to higher incomes and job creation.

The marshal plan will also create the conditions necessary for attracting private capital, local and international into large-scale commercial agriculture and agribusiness, he noted, adding that the plan is going to feed into the ‘Planting For Food and Jobs’ programme and will be backed by a strong legislation to protect private businesses’ investments.

Commenting on the poor state of the agricultural sector over the years, he said, “One of the reasons why agriculture and agribusiness potential is largely untapped is our inability over the years to optimally direct public policies and investments towards de-risking the sector to enable it attract sustained private sector investments along its entire value chain.”

He said that “for the sector that employs the majority of our people, and which presents a critical transformational growth opportunity for Ghana, its declining fortunes over the years is nothing but heart-breaking”

“Another factor that has contributed to the decline of the agricultural sector is that for far too long, public sector investment has been very low and has been backed by conservative strategy that focus on minor incremental changes instead of transformational ones,” he indicated.

Thus, as a way of helping to address the menace, he said government shall make sure that every district has its mechanization centres through the marshal plan, saying that with the right level of support, Ghana can, among other things, unlock substantial values in farming through storage, transportation, agro-processing.

Marketing

Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Sagre Bambangi, told BUSINESS GUIDE on the sidelines of the forum that a total of 300 private sector operators have been identified and that they have expressed willingness to be off-takers for the stocks.

He said they (private businesses) are going to pre-finance the off-taking of the harvested crops from the various farms gates to the National Buffer Stock for storage and onward marketing.
 
 
 
Source: Daily Guide
 
 

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