Planting for Food & Jobs: Focus should have been on post-production-Lecturer

Prof. Simon Cudjoe Fialor, Lecturer at the Faculty of Agriculture-KNUST

A lecturer at the faculty of Agriculture of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology fears the Planting for Food and Jobs Agricultural Policy may run into challenges due to its over-reliance on production.

Prof. Simon Cudjoe Fialor says the over-emphasis on production makes the PFJ similar to other programmes in the past such as RTIMP.

He believes that in order to make a difference, the PFJ should focus more on post-production activities and then work backwards to the specifics of production.

“Planting for Food and Jobs though well thought out should have focused on the market; whether outside or internal markets, determine products that will be sold raw and those that will be processed…and then work backwards to who should produce what. As it is, we still started from production and attempting to move upwards towards marketing. There are a lot of bottlenecks with this approach that will make it unsustainable” he opined.

He says other post production issues such as storage also pose a challenge after production has been successful.

Low and inadequate levels of usage of productivity enhancing technologies such as quality seeds of improved varieties and fertilizer, thin extension services and weak market linkages constrain the growth in on-farm productivity.

The Government of Ghana (GoG) initiated Planting for Food and Jobs as a flagship programme that will motivate Ghanaian farmers to adopt certified seeds and fertilizers through a private sector led marketing framework, by raising the incentives and complimentary service provisions on the usage of inputs, good agronomic practices, marketing of outputs over an E-Agriculture platform.

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