My comments taken out of context-Agric Minister

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Agriculture

THE Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has denied passing any denigrating comments against persons from the Northern Regions of the country as suggested by a news portal in Accra.

He has since clarified his statement and below is the full rejoinder as presented to the media last night.

My attention has been drawn to an online news publication claiming that I have said that indigenes in the northern parts of the country are now able to put up modern buildings made of cement and roofings because of the impact of Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

I want to state emphatically that my comments, which were contained in an interview granted to Evans Mensah of Multimedia (Joy News)  has been taken completely out of context.

It is therefore honourable and heartwarming to know that the original source of the story, did the right thing by pulling down the publication hours after their attention was drawn to it.

I also want to state categorically that I have a greater deal of respect, admiration and adoration for the people of the northern parts of the country.

It suffices to say that they are the bedrock upon which the government’s flagship policy Planting for Food and Agriculture survives.

It will therefore be out of place for me to even attempt to denigrate or make any derogatory comments about their contributions to the success of the PFJ programme.

I want to emphasize that the reason the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and by extension the Government of the NPP under the leadership of His Excellency,  Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo, can authoritatively beat its chest and state that the PFJ policy has achieved tremendous success is as a result of the massive patronage the program has witnessed from the northern parts of this country which are known to be the food basket of Ghana.

It is therefore unfortunate,  the attempts by some political elements to twist my comments for political expediency and to incite the government against our hardworking brothers and sisters in the northern sector of the country.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture will continue to work with our gallant farmers across the country, and more especially those in the northern sector who have embraced the various policy interventions,  as the government of His Excellency,  Nana Akufo Addo,  resolves to transform the economy of this country through agriculture.

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