The Agric Minister, Dr. Owusu Akoto Afriyie, says the target is to employ five million Ghanaians under the programme.
According to him, the programme will see many more Ghanaians secure jobs in the agricultural sector, which would in turn reduce unemployment.
He explained that Government has already created 745,000 “unofficial” jobs under the programme across the country, adding that the target is to create five million jobs.
“750,000 [jobs] is nothing, I want to employ five million people not 750, 000,” he said.
Speaking at a news conference, the Agric Minister said the 754,000 jobs created under the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme are unofficial because they are not pensionable and tax deductible.
“The Planting for Food and Jobs campaign has absorbed this [rural] labour to the extent that we targeted 750,000 rural labour, and we were able to generate 745,000 jobs, and these jobs are unofficial jobs. They are not pensionable, they are not tax deductible so you cannot actually measure it like those in the formal sector where you are registered, you are paid a wage, you have to pay tax and so on, and therefore, it is very easy to monitor,” Dr. Akoto Afriyie said.
He added: “The whole idea is to generate enough jobs in our rural areas so that they would have something to do for them to stay, so that the Kayayei [Head porters] can go back to Tamale, Bolga and all those places to reach rice farmers.”
Meanwhile, the deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, George Oduro, insists the jobs created under the programme are “full-time jobs”.
According to him, those employed “start from land preparation until harvesting…These are not jobs that you go for interviews”.
He has therefore rejected claims that the beneficiaries cannot be regarded as "official" employees.
The 'Planting for Food and Jobs' programme was one of the flagship campaign messages of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) during the 2016 elections.
The programme is geared towards creating jobs for the youth in the agricultural sector.