The Head of Agribusiness at Barclays Bank Ghana Andrew Ahiaku has suggested that the government might have rushed in implementing one of its flagship programmes “Planting for Food and Jobs”.
According to Mr Ahiaku, the unavailability of seedlings and nurseries for farmers who are interested in the programme should have been addressed before commencement.
This, he said, could affect the success of the programme which is expected to create 750,000 jobs in both direct and indirect employment, according to the Planting for Food and Jobs.
Speaking during one of the breakout sessions at the Ghana Economic Forum, which was on the theme: “Supporting private sector to provide affordable solutions to farmers & creating incentives to attract the youth into agriculture,” Mr Ahiaku called for a concerted effort to address the issue of the scarcity of seedlings for farmers.
"I think we have rushed into the planting for food and jobs because there are reports that the farmers are not getting the seedlings as was promised. I think such a programme which is laudable and is expected to help revamp the agricultural sector, which is the mainstay of Ghanaians. We needed to have made sure that we have secured the seedlings for the farmers.”
About Planting for Food and Jobs
The Planting for Food and Jobs is expected to be rolled out in all 216 districts across the country and will involve the supply of farm resources such as high yielding and improved seedlings to participating farmers.
The NPP government has said that it intends to revolutionize agriculture in the country by introducing the programme which is expected to create more than 750,000 jobs.
The programme, according to the government, would also motivate farmers to grow staple foods such as maize, millet, and beans.
Interested farmers are to be provided with free seedlings among other agricultural inputs and agrochemicals such as fertilizer at reduced prices.