Mr. Yohane Armah Ashitey, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, on Tuesday said the government’s agricultural flagship initiative ‘Planting for Food and Jobs was a way to help farmers make a good livelihood from farming.
He added that the policy was also geared towards improving the agricultural sector through modernizing agriculture, mechanization, agronomic practices, proper marketing, processing, transfer of innovation, and value-added to the country’s products while creating accessibility to credit for farmers and fishers.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Tema in an interview, Mr. Ashitey explained that planting for food and jobs aimed to promote food security.
He said the food crops subsector was dominated by smallholder farmers whose cropping practices were characterized by inadequate use of productivity-enhancing technologies, low use of quality seeds and fertilizers, and weak market linkages.
Mr. Ashitey said the initiative was to motivate farmers to adopt certified seeds and fertilizers and empower the beneficiaries with knowledge and skills to maximize the benefits of used subsidized inputs.
It was also to improve the marketability of the increased food produced under the campaign through strong linkages among producers, aggregators, public institutions, private food, and feed enterprises.
The MCE explained that it was also to use information and communication technologies (ICT) for efficient targeting of beneficiaries of the campaign.
On recent national farmers’ day celebration, Mr. Ashitey commended farmers in the Tema region for their contribution to national development through the agricultural value chain.
He also commended Mr. George Adams, a 52-year-old building contractor and civil engineer who was adjudged the Tema Metropolis Overall Best Farmer.
Mr. Adams currently has 700 broilers; 1,000 kroilers, 170 ducks; 30 sheep; 30 domestic fowls; and 17 goats as well as an acre each onion, okro, and maize.
For his prize, Mr. Adams received a cheque of GHC15,000.00, a motor-tricycle, wellington boots, a wheelbarrow, wax cloth, fertilizer, assorted agrochemicals, cutlasses, and soap.