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Impact on subsidy programme under PFJ campaign worrying - Agric Minister

Agriculture Impact on subsidy programme under PFJ campaign worrying - Agric Minister
DEC 3, 2021 LISTEN

As Ghana holds its 37th annual ceremony to honour its hardworking farmers and fishermen, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, says the impact on the subsidy programme under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Campaign is worrying.

The Minister explained that there had been reports of shortages of subsidised input in some parts of the country.

"We are doing everything possible to stabilise the situation in the coming years.''

He said at opening of a five-day National Agricultural Fair and Regional Focus held at Cape Coast in the Central Region to climax the 37th National Farmers Day.

The Minister said Ghana was on a mission of leveraging technology in all sectors including agriculture.

The E-Agriculture was, therefore, being mainstreamed to ensure efficient delivery of services to farmers and actors along the agricultural value chain.

"It is also to enhance productivity and output for greater profitability,” he said.

“Indeed, we are very excited about the new era of technology and some of the areas that technology is being applied."

Dr Akoto said potentially, the Agricultural Fairs would contribute to the objectives of job creation, food security and poverty reduction if the knowledge, exposure and lessons learnt here are translated into action.

"Critically, we also believe that Agricultural Fairs will promote sustainable agriculture and thriving agribusiness from the information and opportunities they present.

These include extension services, development of database for the biometric registration of farmers for effective targeting, soil mapping and disease control, among others," he said.

Notwithstanding the exciting times, the Minister said there were equally major challenges that undermined the efforts being made to transform agriculture.

"We all know about the hikes in prices on the international market of agricultural product such as fertilizer and agrochemicals, both of which are critical to achieving our transformation agenda."

He noted that the development of agriculture cannot be solely undertaken by government.

In recognition of that, Dr Akoto said the Ministry would continue to work closely with private sector and development partners in delivering the modernisation and transformation agenda and ensuring food security by building resilient food systems and supporting farmers.

It was important to recognise the fertile partnership that had been established with the private sector and other stakeholders, he said.

"Indeed, without their participation in this Agricultural Fair, the purpose of the Fair will not be served, so while saluting you, I look forward, in the coming year, for greater collaboration to continue building momentum for the accelerated development of agriculture," Dr Akoto said.

GNA

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