Due to the vast expanse of fertile lands, Ghana, like nations in tropical Africa is naturally an agricultural nation. Most Ghanaian citizens have got involved in farming as they are growing up tending family plots of lands periodically.

A few Ghanaians have remained in farming having grown to become commercial farmers producing food and cash crops, poultry and livestock with some going to sea for fishing. With all that, we import food crops to supplement what we produce at home. Like some nations of West Africa such as Cote d I’voire Ghana is also a leading producer of cash crops like cocoa, cashew, coffee etc. Having recognized this, succeeding governments of Ghana including the military adventurers wanting to improve on food production at home have shown interest in agriculture by instituting a day to honor farmers who are the driving forces behind food and cash crops production, as the mainstay of our economy. The national farmer’s day on first Friday of December each year, is by law a public holiday during which outstanding farmers are honored at national regional and district levels with awards of various kinds from cars, cash, tractors and farm implements. This years farmers day fell on Friday December 1. The current government having showed in words and deeds its support for agriculture seems set to continue honoring farmers as done by the previous governments as a means of encouraging Ghanaians especially the youth to take interest in farming. The new best farmer a 50-year-old Philip Agyemang from Dormaa West in Brong Ahafo Region has been given a cash award of $100,000 dollars for producing food crops. This is a departure from the previous award of a house last year and cars in the past.
As a means of promoting farming the current government intends to pursue a plan for an ambitious agricultural system for the nation to produce more food and cash crops.
Under the Planting for Food and Jobs, the NPP administration has promised to involve 750,000 people in agriculture in the first year of its operations, as disclosed by the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Afriyie Akoto.

This figure, according to him, will increase to over 1.5million in subsequent years as part of the implementation of the flagship policy.

The policy, is to commence in the coming crop season, aimed at increasing food production and to ensure sustainable supply of food at cheaper cost whilst creating jobs for the teeming youth in the country.

It is expected to roll 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 to be carefully selected by both the regional and district directorates under the agriculture ministry.

It will engage the services of over 1,000 unemployed graduates from the five Agric Colleges across the country as well as about 3,200 extension officers to provide expertise and supervisory services to beneficiary farmers.
If properly handled the program would ensure the killing of two birds with one stone by providing employment to the teeming unemployed youth and increase manifold food in the country.
Issues likely to emerge are the perennial food glut on our markets and post-harvest losses. However, the Ministry of Agriculture being aware of these problems is likely to provide silos or warehouses on farmlands for the storage of excess farm produce. With regard to the perishable products and fruits, it is believed that a way would be found to open more factories to process and can crops like tomatoes, oranges, pineapples and others for home consumption and export. Fortunately, processing of farm produce is not new to us in Ghana. With our previous and current experience in this field and support from banks and investors, it is likely that we can achieve a huge breakthrough.
In an effort to boost agriculture in Ghana the Canadian Government is set to inject a total of $120m US Dollars (125m Canadian Dollars) into the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative being spearheaded by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The agreement for the release of the funds was signed at the Finance Ministry. While The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ken Ofori-Atta, signed on behalf of Ghana the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ms. Heather Anne Cameron, signed on behalf of her country. It forms part of the Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) Project which forms part of efforts by government to reverse the declining growth of the agric sector over the past eight years. Many other nations

Our experience shows that agriculture in the country can be boosted through the promotion of various activities such as the creation of dams to store water for irrigation. This scheme which is not new to us leads to availability of water the whole year round for farming.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says a total 320 small dams and dug-outs in 64 districts in northern Ghana have been identified for development as part of the government’s One-District-One-Dam project.

Out of the number, 192 of them would be evaluated for development in 2018 in the selected areas.
It is our prayer that this program by the government would succeed for us to produce more food to feed ourselves and for export as experience under the National Redemption Council military government of late General I K Acheampong. Apart from irrigation which led to sound year round farming in Dawhenya in the Volta Region and Vea and Tono in the also helped us in rice and vegetable production in the 70s. The nation, apart from irrigating our lands in the north and Volta regions, is likely to boost food production if we revive the program of backyard gardening and domestic production, introduced by the military government of General Acheampong in the 70s under operation feed yourself. Currently most people live in areas with lands that are suitable for agriculture. Let us revive the Operation Feed Yourself program and domestication to get schools work places and homes to compete in food production. Some dwellers of these cities and towns like Accra and the regional and district capitals do grow cassava, yams, tomatoes plantains on their backyards and in the yards of government and private firms. The food to be produced locally would be consumed by the subsistent farmers to cut down on their food budgets. Since everyone in Ghana especially in the rural areas are farmers we commend them and urge all to get involved in food production.

Source: Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai



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