Ghana Trade - Official SME Product Portal and Web Gallery

Chiefs Must Lead Agricultural Revival Campaign – Agric Minister

The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has appealed to traditional rulers to take active part in the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme by starting at least one food farm in their communities as an example to inspire their sub-chiefs and subjects to also start their food farms.

Whilst commending chiefs in the country for releasing lands for farming, Dr Afriyie Akoto said Ghanaians would be glad to see their respected traditional leaders lead the crusade to ensure food security in the country.

“I am appealing to you to do more as I introduce to you ‘One Chief, One Farm’ initiative”, he noted, adding that he was very hopeful that through this initiative many jobs would be created in the communities as the youth are attracted to farm on their own or work on other people’s farms.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who was speaking after President Akufo-Addo’s address on Monday at a special meeting with the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi, said he was happy to remind ‘Nananom’ of the President’s appeal at the beginning of the year to all Ghanaians to behave as citizens rather than onlookers.

He advised chiefs in towns and cities where large food farms could prove difficult to convert their backyard compounds or every available space into food crop gardens. He pledged that his ministry will support the chiefs and others with subsidised seeds and fertilisers, and directed them to contact their district agricultural offices.

The Minister also encouraged the chiefs to be agents for publicising and mobilising their people to take up food farming. He stated, “Hence, in your addresses at durbars, community meetings, advice to the youth, etc, Nananom should educate and inform their people about the flagship programme of ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’.”

The programme objective, according to the Minister, is to produce enough to ensure food and nutrition security in the country and also provide job opportunities in agriculture and allied sectors.

He announced that this year’s pilot target to mobilise 200,000 people into ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ has been exceeded and given hope that the minimum target of 1.5 million by 2020, out of the total of some 5 million farmers, will also be exceeded.

He noted that a number of senior high schools, Prison Service and the National Service Secretariat have taken up the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ campaign very seriously and that very soon the universities, churches and community groups, such as Tenants and Resident Associations, will all be mobilised to take part.

Four crops selected for the initial stages of the programme are maize, rice, soybean and sorghum. In addition, the programme is promoting urban vegetable production. The crops were selected because they grow everywhere in the country – coastal, forest or savannah – and also have high potential for making money locally or through exports. In time, new products such as other vegetables, legumes, fruits, tree and industrial crops and livestock will be added.

The Minister assured farmers that the necessary marketing arrangements have been put in place to ensure that their produce don’t go to waste.