The Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has lauded the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative by the government.
He said the policy has been a success since it was started by the Akufo-Addo government in 2017.
According to Dr. Akoto, the successes chalked in the agricultural sector over the past few years can be attributed to the policy.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, the Minister stated that the impact of the policy on Ghanaian’s attitude toward farming and agriculture, in general, is immeasurable.
He said “Its impact is changing the psychology of people towards agriculture, attitude towards agriculture. You cannot put a value on it. You’ll have to go to the field to see the number of young people, professional people who are now coming into the field.”
He stated that following the introduction of the policy, the country has seen more professionals from diverse fields as well as young people dive into agriculture and agric-processing.
Citing an example from his 8-day tour of Ghana’s forest regions he said, “On Saturday within a matter of two hours, I met two farmers who are medical doctors who have resigned and have entered into agriculture on a full-time basis.
“One of them doing coconut plantation with all kinds of products from coconuts, very interesting. And the other one was with his mother and family near Asamankese planting 5 acres of maize, cassava and so on.
“So within two hours I’ve met two medical doctors who had resigned and were permanently into agriculture, and that phenomenon is all over the country,” he said.
He added that “Last year when we went to Ejura, I had a forum for farmers and this lady stood up and was saying look, now it’s not only us, teachers, medical doctors, nurses, everybody is coming into the field to plant and it is the contribution of Planting for Food and Jobs in changing the psychology of the attitude of people towards farming and a lot of people are moving into agriculture.”
The Minister also in a recent interview said Ghana is not experiencing any food shortage.
Addressing the staff of MOFA and farmers in the Eastern Region as part of his official tour, Dr. Akoto said linking high food prices with shortage is non-existent.
“There is no food shortage in Ghana as is being speculated, the food situation in the regions is enough evidence, however, we recognise that food is relatively expensive due to external factors.”
The Minister said, the increase in prices of food commodities is not because of the government’s policies, but external factors such as the increment of imported chemicals and other external factors beyond their control.