The introduction of Planting for Food and Jobs Programme in 2017, has significantly increased domestic food production, this is according to the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta, who said this during the 2019 mid-year budget review on Monday.
He mentioned that foodstuff such as maize production increased by 72 percent, rice by 24 percent, soyabean by 39 percent and sorghum 100 percent.
With respect to Rearing for Food and Jobs” programme which was launched in June, Mr. Ofori Atta noted that a total of 53,500 livestock, consisting of sheep, pigs, cockerels and guinea fowls have been distributed to some beneficiary farmers across the country.
This is part of government’s agriculture modernisation programmes which aim at ensuring reliable production of agriculture produce to be the basis of industrialisation, job creation and drive export as well as helping to reducing the amount of foreign exchange spent on food imports.
Regarding fertilizer and seed subsidy component programme, the Minister said about 40 percent of targeted farmers have been covered comprising only farmers in the Southern sector since the Northern sector planting season is yet to start.
Again, construction of 30 warehouses (1,000 metric tonnes capacity each) are underway across the country to provide storage facilities and reduce postharvest losses. As at end June this year, five warehouses have been completed at Kwame Danso, Bole, Yagba, Dzodze and Chindiri.
With regards to the management of Fall Army Worm infestation, as at May 2019, a total farm area of 34,396ha was sprayed and recovered. This prevented the loss of about 106,627 metric tonnes of maize valued at about GHc170.60 million. So far, 79,560 litres and 7,162.40kg of various kinds of pesticides have been utilized in the southern sector. Additional quantities of 10,000 litres and 13,500.00kg of pesticides have been supplied for use during the minor season.
Regarding greenhouse, the Finance Minister noted that the Greenhouse village at Dahwenya in the Greater Accra Region has trained a total of 231 students. The new facility at Akumadan in the Eastern Region has been completed with training scheduled to start in the third quarter of the year. The Bawjiase Green house will be completed by the end of the year.
Report indicates that under the first phase of the project, each facility is expected to produce about 325,200kg of assorted vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and lettuce) valued at about GHc6.4 million. This is expected to create 35 to 45 direct and five indirect jobs per centre.