General News of Tue, 11 Sep 201816
Over 10,000 hectares of farmlands under Planting for Food & Jobs destroyed
Government’s flagship agriculture programme, Planting for Food and Jobs has suffered a major setback following the destruction of over 10,000 hectares of farmland in the Upper East Region.
The programme, which is expected to modernize agriculture, improve production, and achieve food security while creating jobs for the youth seems not to be going on smoothly.
Although it is also to increase the production of maize by 30%, rice by 49%, soybean by 25% and sorghum by 28% for current production levels, several hectares of these cereals have been destroyed.
The spilling of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso and torrential rains in the region have been identified as causes of the destruction.
Dr. Sagri Bambangi, Deputy Minister of agriculture who led a government delegation to visit the affected farmlands said the situation was devastating.
“A significant percentage of crops has been affected. We are not happy about the situation. It is not pleasant. The spillage of the Bagre dam we are told is the cause as well as torrential rains over the past two weeks.”
Breakdown of farmlands destroyed
1000 hectares of rice farms
4600 hectares of maize
500 hectares of sorghum
200 hectares of millet
200 hectares of groundnut
200 hectares of cowpea
Farmers owe gov’t Ghc 414,000 under Planting for Food & Jobs
Barely a year after implementation, the Planting for Food and Jobs programme is facing serious challenges.
The government has lost Ghc 414,141 out of the Ghc 1,106,865 invested in the programme.
This is because 1,946 farmers in the Wa Municipal Assembly of the Upper West Region have defaulted in payment for the inputs and other services provided by the government under the programme.
Issahaku Moomin Tahiru, the Wa Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) said most farmers in the area mistook the farm inputs and support given to them as gifts.
“Many of these beneficiaries feel that government’s subsidized projects are for people to benefit for the sake of benefiting and there is no need for them to come back and pay.”
The situation has led to a reduction in the number of beneficiaries of the programme in the municipality to a little over 1,000 as compared to last year’s 5,200.
‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ will succeed – Nana Addo
President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured that his government has put in place measures to ensure the success of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme,
He reiterated that the policy “is anchored on the pillars that will transform Ghana’s agriculture; the provision of improved seeds, the supply of fertilizers, the provision of dedicated extension services and marketing strategy.”