The Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has touted the achievement of government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

During his vetting on Friday, the Minister-designate highlighted that the flagship programme under the Akufo-Addo-led administration has led to the significant growth of the agriculture sector in the country.

He noted that the country now has enough food to feed its citizens and export some to neighbouring countries.

This, according to him, has made Ghana “a major breadbasket for West Africa’.

“Mr Chairman, this is something which the whole of West Africa and the International Community have come to accept as one of our achievement. In 2019, we exported 19 different food items, 150,000 metric tonnes of them worth $90 million.

“People come all the way from Kano to buy our foodstuffs, we also export, plantains from Agogo and so on into Burkina Faso where traders have their own area for Agogo plantain nothing else but that and they are making brisk business,” he told the Appointments Committee.

The Minister-designate, however, noted that the Finance Ministry does not have any record relating to the boom in the Agriculture sector due to its informality.

Describing it as an ECOWAS strain, Dr Afriyie Akoto outlined it as a major challenge that his office will look at.

“If you go through the books of Finance Ministry, you won’t find this because the trade is very informal. People bring CFA into the country change it and buy the foodstuff and take them away.

“And instead of our customs at the borders, checking and making sure that we [government] receive what is required of us and the foreign exchange return and so on, that doesn’t happen.”