…As Minister presents 216 vehicles to District Directors
There was excitement on the faces of agricultural officers across the country on Monday after the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, finally handed over keys to 216 pickup vehicles meant for distribution to all District Agricultural Offices in the country.
The vehicles were presented in fulfillment of a pledge to provide adequate logistics to local agricultural staffs towards the implementation of the government’s flagship ‘Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme.
The vehicles were procured through the Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme being supported by the Canadian Government.
The MAG is a five- year programme being implemented by the Ministries of Food and Agriculture and Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development with a One Hundred and Twenty Five Million Dollar Grant from the Canadian Government.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture noted “what we have witnessed here today is a demonstration of the President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo’s government resolve to transform the country’s economy through agriculture”.
Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie said though these vehicles are long overdue, they are being distributed today to boost the activities of the various district agricultural officers, particularly in the implementation of PFJ programme.
He therefore commended the Canadian Government for the massive support towards the agricultural sector through the MAG programme, stressing that government will not renege on its promise to revamp the sector through the provision of the requisite inputs and resources to all stakeholders, including farmers who are the ultimate beneficiaries.
Five District Directors, accompanied by their regional directors were on hand to receive the vehicles. Arrangements were expected to be made for the remaining districts to take delivery of their share of the vehicles.
The arrival of the vehicles according to the recipients, will add further boost to their activities which have seen massive revival since the introduction of the PFJ policy.
Speaking on behalf of the Districts, the DCE for Adansi Fomena, Mr Eric Kusi, commended Government and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the major intervention, stressing that the vehicles will go a long way to facilitate activities of agriculture at the local level.
The PFJ programme
The Government, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture launched its flagship Planting for Food and Jobs (PJF) last year with the aim of increasing food production resulting in the reduction of food importation, as well as the creation of jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.
The program is hinged on major pillars including provision of inputs at subsidized prices, provision of free extension services, provision of marketing avenues for produce and e-agriculture.
The implementation of the pilot phase in 2017 with a little over 200,000 beneficiary farmers resulted in the achievement of significant results, particularly in the areas of value addition, processing and packaging.
An increase in farmers’ participation to 500,000 in 2018 is expected to achieve even more as government seeks to improve food production, create jobs and increase yields from major crops to boost food security.
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