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Planting for food and jobs initiative contributes to food security

Mr Prince Ofori-Boateng, Acting Director of Agriculture, Ningo-Prampram, says the government’s flagship programme, “Planting for Food and Jobs,” (PFJ) has contributed to the country’s food security.

He said other programmes, such as modernizing Agriculture in Ghana and the Planting for Export and Rural Development, saw a significant boost in the agricultural sector in the Ningo-Prampram District.

He said it was prudent to ensure sustainable food production to meet Africa’s food sustainability and World’s food security Agenda despite the COVID-19.

Mr Ofori-Boateng, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the District Farmers Day celebration, said despite the COVID-19 pandemic records showed that crop production did not perform badly this year compared to last year.

He said 2021 presented some challenges such as a shortfall in the government subsidized fertilizers during the major farming season but the farmers were able to produce more.

He said in 2020 the total land cultivated for most of the major crops, including maize, mango, cassava, rice, pepper, onion, tomato, watermelon was 5,234.60 hectares and this year was estimated at 5,008.20 hectares.

Production stood at 2,467.5 metric tonnes in 2020 and 2,072.3 metric tonnes in 2021.

Mr Ofori-Boateng said the planting for food and jobs also saw the distribution of the government subsidized inputs to farmers.

He said although the programme suffered a bit of crisis due to a shortage of government-subsidized fertilizers to farmers, it eventually pulled through.

He said the crisis shook the agricultural sector and it took a collaborative and unflinching commitment from farmers, the District Assembly, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other cooperative stakeholders and partners to stabilise the situation.

The Acting Director said despite the subsidized fertilizer distribution challenges, the beauty of the PFJ programme was not completely marred because there was the supply of other inputs such as subsidized seeds to farmers.

He said the PJF had assisted many farmers in the District by reducing the cost of production and increased crop productivity over the years.

He said the total number of beneficiary farmers in 2020 was about 3,302 and in 2021 it stood at 2, 276.

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