Over 250,000 farmers biometrically registered under Planting for Food and Jobs
The Alliance for Development and Industrialization (ADI) has commended the government for its bold initiative taken to biometrically register farmers across the country under Planting for Food and Jobs. So far the government has registered more than 250,000 famers in districts such as Birim South in Eastern region, Bia East in the Western region, Berkum in the Brong Ahafo region and Mampong in the Ashanti region in the last three months from the initial 38,000 recorded last year.
The current registration of farmers across the country clearly shows that the issue of subsidy and mismanagement which make the government to lose out would soon be a thing of the past and largely reduce corruption at the grass-root level. Although this covers only 15 percent of the farmer population, ADI sees this as a remarkable achievement, but it is of the opinion that this exercise should cover the entire farmer population in the country to make it convenient to get the desire support as well as making them financially inclusive.
For 2018, the biometric registration is expected to cover only 500,000 farmers across the country, which ADI thinks is woefully inadequate. ADI is of the view that the government should scale up the registration numbers before the next subsidy. This would make the government to achieve a lot in fighting corruption in the agricultural sector which would clearly buttress the position for the Vice President, Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia that technology is the path to improve economy and reduce corruption in the country.
Instructive to note, the ADI is asking the government as a matter of urgency to link the farmer and farmer groups into a reliable out grower programs that would integrate into higher skill commercial supply base for the nation’s industrialization agenda which include the one district- one factory, one village –one dam among others. The ADI is asking the Akufo Addo led administration to stay very focus on the use of the country’s national resources for the good benefit of the people to get out- put for the economic growth and development. In the 2018 budget, a total sum of GHC700million was allocated for the implementation of the planting for food and jobs programme, out of which GHC365,609,010.50 has been released to fund various components of the programme.
Fertilizer companies have been engaged for the supply and distribution of 270,000mt of both organic and inorganic fertilizer at 50 percent subsidised prices. As of end June, a total of 124,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer was supplied to farmers. Biometric registration to bring farmers registered under the programme to 500,000 from the initial 201,000 registered in 2017, is currently ongoing.