President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reassured that agriculture would continue to remain a top priority of his government and that the massive investments made in the sector attested to that fact.
President Akufo-Addo said the positive narration of the government’s support to the agriculture sector, unlike several other countries, has better prepared and has demonstrated the country’s resilience to the current adversities threatening to destabilise the country’s food systems.
Addressing the President Akufo-Addo at Koforidua in the Eastern Region last Friday, President Akufo-Addo said that had been possible because of the sound, pragmatic policies and programmes rolled out since he assumed office as President in 2017.
The government’s flagship programme, the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), according to the President, has succeeded in increasing food security and opened up new opportunities for diversifying the country’s agricultural exports by promoting six tree crops for future substantial foreign exchange earnings.
He stated that since the launch of the Tree Crop Development programme in 2018, several nurseries have been established with the participation of the private sector.
The Ministry, through the Tree Crops Development Authority (TCDA), has provided 2.7 million improved seedlings to some 11,100 farmers during the 2022 cropping season.
The PFJ, President Akufo-Addo stated, has targeted other sectors under agriculture with promising results. Under the Rearing for Food Jobs module, some 134,400 birds and small ruminants were distributed to 1,254 beneficiaries in 2022 alone.
“In addition, 900,000 broiler day old chicks (chicken), together with nine hundred metric tons of feed and vaccines, have been contracted out for supply to farmers next year.”
Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and other partners have facilitated the introduction and enhancement of major interventions such as the National Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme, Hand Pollination Programme, Mass Pruning Exercise, Cocoa Diseases and Pests Control Programme, the Subsidised Fertiliser Distribution Programme, amongst others.
Grains Development Authority
To unlock the country’s potential in the grain industry which can be exported to neighbouring countries, a Bill is before Parliament requesting approval to amend the erstwhile Grain Development Authority Act, 1970 (Act 234) to provide for the establishment of a body corporate to regulate, promote and coordinate the development of the grain industry.
The Authority, according to President Akufo-Addo, with private sector participation, would coordinate actors in the grain industry to achieve higher productivity, gain market access and increase value addition.
President Akufo-Addo said the government would continue to implement sustainable fisheries management measures to help conserve the dwindling marine fisheries resources and sustain the sector for future generations.
The development of the aquaculture industry which employs some three million persons would continue to receive government support, as part of efforts to reduce the country’s dependence on marine fisheries resources.
The President announced that Cabinet has granted three key approvals to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development for the automation of premix fuel distribution at landing beaches, the implementation of a new National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy, and the preparation of a new Fisheries Act to replace the current Act 625.
Those approvals, he indicated, were important for the sustainable management of marine fisheries resources and the development of aquaculture.
President Akufo-Addo said efforts to curtail imports of some food commodities for which the country has a comparative advantage would require strong inter-sectoral coordination and effective engagement and collaboration with the private sector and all other stakeholders in the agriculture ecosystem.
He said institutions such as the TCDA and pipeline strategic institutions, like the Grains Development Authority, would be strengthened and supported to deliver effectively on their strategic mandate.
“We will also coordinate effectively with our foreign partners, leveraging their technical and financial resources to support this effort.”
The President commended the country’s farmers, especially the national best farmer and all the award winners in this year’s celebrations for their tremendous efforts at feeding the nations
Nana Yaw Sarpong Serebour, 43, was adjudged the 2022 national best farmer. He took away a cash prize of GHS1,000,000 and two nights’ full board complimentary stay for two at the Peduase Valley Resort.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD
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