Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has given a favourable account of government’s flagship agriculture programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), during Tuesday’s session of the Results Fair.
The Results Fair was launched by the Ministry for Monitoring and Evaluation to serves as a platform for the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to recount their achievements since they assumed office.
The Fair has been scheduled to come off from the January 14 to 16, 2020.
Taking his turn on Tuesday, January 14, the Minister said his Ministry has, for instance, assembled the major research centres in Ghana – including universities and food and crop research institutes – to form a committee that advises on ways to expand their capacity to produce planting material.
He also said the Agric Ministry, for the first time, has been working very closely with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in a collaboration that has enabled District Chief Executives to have the responsibility to ensure that there are enough planting material to enable the DCEs to do a seed garden for selected crops.
He said the crops have been selected depending on the ecological zones in question.
The DCEs, he said have been tasked to produce these seedlings and distribute them free of charge to farmers.
“And as I speak to you, we have been distributed about 30 million seedlings of these [selected] crops to farmers and we are going to expand that,” the Minister said.
The selected crops include oil palm, coconut, mangoes, cashew, shea, among others.
He acknowledged during his presentation at the Fair that the expansion and progress of the project will depend on the capacity of the research institutes to provide planting materials.
“So they have given us a budget; it is just below $40 million that I have to look for to support these research institutes, expand their activities to produce enough planting materials for the DCEs to increase their output of seeds to these farmers,” he said.