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Government to partner private sector to cultivate 110,000 acres to beat down food prices

Lettuce Farm File photo

Fri, 25 Nov 2022 Source:

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said the current high food prices and pressures on the local currency validate the current focus of the GhanaCARES programme to bolster the productive and export capacity of the private sector.

To this end, he said an economic enclave project with focus on providing support for the cultivation of up to 110,000 acres of land in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Savanna and Oti regions, is being pursued.

The initiative, Mr Ofori-Atta explained in his 2023 budget presentation to parliament on Thursday, 24 November 2022, “seeks to expand our production and productivity in rice, tomato, maize, vegetables and poultry” sectors.

It is being led and coordinated by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) in collaboration with other government institutions such as the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Ministry of Energy, Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) under the Ministry of Defence, the National Entrepreneurial and Innovation Programme (NEIP) and the National Service Secretariat (NSS).

Mr Ofori-Atta said “consistent with the private sector-led approach, the programme will engage interested private sector actors to expand agricultural production and processing in the Asutuare-Tsopoli economic enclave area based on a partnership framework”.

The same approach, he noted, will be adopted for the lands secured in the Ashanti, Central, Savanna and Oti regions.

In addition to the enclave project, Ofori-Atta said the GhanaCARES programme, "in 2023, will continue to offer catalytic support by working with DBG to provide funding to interested and targeted farmers; supporting MoFA to adopt and deploy the farmer registration database for the farmer input subsidy programme to enhance efficiency; supporting the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation (MoCD) to establish a tech hub to improve knowledge in technology and innovation by the youth, in collaboration with the University of Ghana ensuring the operationalisation of the foundry under a sustainable private sector management framework."

"Providing interest rate subsidies and direct financing, including supporting prioritised sectors in the rural economy through the ARB Apex Bank and its network of banks, as agreed under the AfDB-supported Post-COVID Skills and Productivity Enhancement Project," he added.