The Agricultural Development Bank (adb) has contributed a total of GHS100 million for the purchase of seeds and fertilisers, and also as credit to farmers for the successful implementation of the government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs (PF&J) initiative.
In a speech read on the Managing Director’s behalf at the Rearing for Food and Jobs Initiative’s launch in Wa, the Deputy Managing Director, Mr Alhassan Yakubu-Tali said the adb is committed to ensuring that all the government’s agricultural-related activities succeed.
According to him, since the launch of the initiative in 2017, adb has assisted farmers who participated in the programme to expand their operations and to transit into successful commercial farmers by providing the necessary support.
“We provided a platform free of charge to collect a 50 per cent down payment from farmers that enables them to access seeds and fertilisers; and also provided the same platform for collecting the remaining 50 per cent input cost after harvesting,” he emphasised.
Mr Yakubu-Tali lauded the Rearing for Food and Jobs initiative, adding that it is intended to boost meat production in the country and rekindle interest in the rearing of livestock on a large scale, as a means of creating jobs and ensuring self-sufficiency in the area of meat production.
“The initiative came after the success story from the novel Planting for Food and Jobs initiative, which has led to the creation of thousands of jobs, increased food production in the country, and also made it possible for us to even export to some of our neighbouring countries,” he added.
As a bank with the core mandate of providing financial solutions for the development and modernisation of Ghana’s agricultural sector, Mr Yakubu-Tali said adb plays a strategic role in ensuring that the Rearing for Food and Jobs initiative is also successful – just like the Planting for Food and Jobs and Planting for Export and Rural Development initiatives.
Mr Yakubu-Tali disclosed that plans are underway for the bank to finance the Modernised Cattle Farming Industry Project (MCFIP) – a private cattle farming initiative being undertaken in the Afram Plains with the aim of improving cattle farming in the country.
When fully implemented, he said the project will reduce Ghana’s budget for meat and dairy importation – and will provide thousands of jobs as it will be replicated in other regions, and also avert the perennial tension and conflicts between the locals and the nomadic Fulani herdsmen.
For his part, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, gave the assurance that his ministry will revamp livestock production in the country with the introduction of the initiative, which is aimed at generating employment for over 1.5 million people.
He said as agriculture remains the economy’s backbone, the government is committed to ensuring that it is given the necessary assistance.