Government and the African Development Fund (ADF) have on Thursday signed a loan agreement to support the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme.

Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance, signed on behalf of government whilst Dr Yero H. J. Baldeh, the Ghana Country Manager of the Bank signed its behalf.

The loan is a concessionary facility of UA27.86 million ($39.01 million) from the ADF to finance the Savannah Zone Agricultural Productivity Improvement Project (SAPIP).

The Project will be implemented over a five year period commencing in 2018 and completing in 2022.

The development objective of the Project is to transform agricultural value chains for food and nutrition security, job creation within the Savannah Zone.

The specific objectives are to increase farmers’ food and nutrition security, increase incomes through increased agricultural productivity and diversification and enhance the creation and strengthening of agribusinesses to increase incomes of actors along selected value chains in a sustainable basis

The Project has four main components namely; Crop Productivity Improvement Component, Value Chain and Agribusinesses Development Component, Infrastructure Development Component, Project Coordination, Management and M & E Component

It is expected to directly benefit about 50,000 economically active smallholders living in the savannah zone. It will also contribute to the input support programme of the Ministry of the Food and Agriculture reaching about 250,000.