NPP Government 'Planting for food and jobs' programme rushed - expert

The Head of Agribusiness at Barclays Bank Ghana Andrew Ahiaku has said reports of unavailability of seedlings and nurseries for farmers was worrying.

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play Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Akoto Owusu Afriyie.
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The Akufo-Addo administration rushed in the implementation of the 'planting for food and jobs' programme, the head of Agribusiness at Barclays Bank Ghana has said.

Andrew Ahiaku, speaking at the justed ended Ghana Economic Forum, said reports of unavailability of seedlings and nurseries for farmers was worrying.

"I think we have rushed into the planting for food and jobs because there are reports that the farmers are not getting the seedlings as was promised. I think such a programme which is laudable and is expected to help revamp the agricultural sector, which is the mainstay of Ghanaians. We needed to have made sure that we have secured the seedlings for the farmers," he said.

In June, the Sunyani Municipal Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr Francis Ennor, complained that delay in supplying of seedlings was affecting the programme.

He said because of the delayed, only 90 farmers out of the 1,000 registered farmers enrolled on the programme had taken delivery of the seeds and fertilizers provided by the government.

Also, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana has said the programme lacks clear implementation policy.

Senior Research Fellow and Head of Economic Division Dr. Charles Godfred Ackah said without a clear plan for the implementation, it would be difficult to evaluate the performance of the planting for food and job in the set targets.

Under the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs campaign’ government seeks to increase food production; maize (30%), rice(49%), soybean(25%), and sorghum(28%).