Government is set to announce further boost for agriculture and farmers at the 2018 farmers day celebration, which takes place in Tamale tomorrow.
The celebration is themed: “Agriculture, Moving Ghana Beyond Aid” and it reflects the premium placed on agriculture by the government and the critical role of the sector and sector players in Ghana’s ability to meet our ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ goal.
Addressing Wednesday’s Press Briefing in Accra, Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the ceremony will be used not only to reward hardworking regional and national best farmers but will also be used as a platform to outline efforts by the administration to further enhance Agric productivity and its rewards to farmers in 2019 and 2020.
“Though 34% of the employment population is engaged in agriculture, Agric output and its rewards to farmers has been dwindling in recent years. Growth in the sector has dwindled to 0.9% in 2014, 2.3% in 2015, 2.9% in 2016” he said.
Mr. Nkrumah said the Akufo-Addo administration in 2017 introduced the planting for food and jobs program, targeting 250,000 farmers and focused on Supplying inputs to farmers, including fertilizers and improved seeds and Providing farmers with Agric Extension services who are assisting farmers use modern Agric methods to increase yield.
The program has also assisted farmers with marketing channels for their output through there organized buffer stock company and licensed buying companies.
“Statistics from Ghana Statistical Service posit that Agric productivity was boosted to an estimated 6.1% subsequent to the planting for food and jobs interventions,” he revealed.
The Information Minister announced that in 2018, the numbers of target farmers have been doubled to 500,000 and a further growth of 6.8% is expected on top the 2017 figure. Note that in both years the number of target farmers was exceeded.
He said in 2019, the program is to be expanded and will focus on the expansion of the number of farmers, their kinds of inputs and expansion in Agric Products. This is expected to yield 7.3% and 7.0% for 2019 and 2020 respectively
This year’s Farmers day celebration began with a National Agricultural Fair from Thursday, 29th November 2018 and will end on Friday 7th December 2018, at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium.
It will also allow for a collective assessment of the impact of the Agricultural Sector on the National economy.
Government has demonstrated beyond doubt that it is committed to transforming and modernising agriculture and improving the lot of farmers.
All regional award winners will be awarded at the National Level in Tamale, since there is no celebration at the Regional Level.