General News of Wednesday, 5 December 2018
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has stated that the prices of food have been made cheap since the implementation of “planting for food and jobs”.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosiisen Wednesday, the minister said the planting for food and jobs which was one of the initiatives of the incumbent government to address the declining growth of Ghana’s agricultural sector has seen tremendous success since it was initiated.
“Food has never been so cheap in Ghana for so many years, we have facts and network data of prices from years before we initiated planting for food and jobs and we have been tracking both the retail and wholesale prices in the market for some time, we can confidently say food is now very cheap in Ghana,” he noted.
The minister also added that the initiative was a five-year-long policy which is geared towards increasing food production and ensure food security for the country as well as reduce food import bills to the barest minimum.
“500,000 farmers were targeted to benefit from this initiative but nearly 600,000 farmers have benefited so far, no maize was imported into the country since 2017 as well as January and September this year due to increased local maize production,” he added.
“The two crops we are focusing on are rice and soya; soya because of the poultry industry and rice because of import substitution which has brought about low demand due to the continuous sale of imported rice at various markets.”
According to Mr Afriyie Akoto, the provision of improved grains under the planting for food and jobs programme may suffice as a means to improve the yield of local rice farmers.