The Planting for Food & Jobs programme of the Akufo-Addo government created 745,000 jobs in rural farming communities around Ghana, Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has said.
The Minister told Joy FM’s Joseph Opoku Gakpo in an interview that: “I am glad to say that when we did the calculation, we came close to 745,000 jobs created in the rural areas.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched the programme in April last year at at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The initiative is aimed at making Ghana self-sufficient in food production.
The Planting for Food & Jobs programme was billed to get a $120 million (125 million Canadian dollars) investment from the Canadian government. A deal for the release of the grant was agreed and signed between the two countries last year. Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta represented the government of Ghana while the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ms Heather Anne Cameron, signed for her country.
Last year Dr Afriyie Akoto said the programme was aimed at creating 750,000 jobs.
“We need to generate more wealth in the agricultural sector to be able to improve the livelihood of our farmers and fisherfolk, and help grow the national economy. It is in recognition of this that the New Patriotic Party (NPP), in its manifesto of 2016, promised to modernise agriculture. In this regard, the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo plans to launch a national campaign with the slogan: ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’. This campaign is designed to encourage all citizens, both urban and rural, to take up farming as a full-time and part-time activity. It is intended to structure it along the lines of the Operation Feed Yourself Programme in the 1970s. This year, the spearhead of the campaign will involve the production of rice, soya beans, sorghum, and vegetables. Other crops will be adopted in subsequent years,” the Minister said earlier last year.
The programme is akin to the Operation Feed Yourself campaign launched by the Acheampong regime in the 1970s to make Ghana self-sufficient in food supply.
The Planting for Food & Jobs programme is being operated under five main components: supply of improved seedlings, provision of fertilisers, extension services, marketing for produce, and e-agriculture.