Agriculture Modernisation Programme makes significant strides – Finance Minister

Accra- Mr Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance at the presentation of the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament on Wednesday said the Agriculture Modernisation Programme has progressed over the last three years.

He said government has delivered this agenda through its key flagship initiative ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ under the various modules including ‘Food Crop Production’, ‘Planting for Export and Rural Development’, ‘Rearing for Food and Jobs’, ‘Greenhouse Technology Development’ and ‘Mechanisation for Food and Jobs’.

Mr Ofori Atta said in 2017, when the government assumed office, growth in the agriculture sector had declined.

The government’s Agriculture Modernisation Programme was, therefore, aimed at improving production efficiency, achieving food security, and profitability for the farmers, and significantly increasing agricultural productivity as the basis for industrialisation, job creation and export.

The Minister said under the ‘Food Crop Production’ module, sixteen selected commodities were being promoted. They include maize, rice, sorghum, soybean plantain, vegetables, orange flesh and sweet potato.

He added that between 2017 and 2018, a total subsidy in the form of 12,000 metric tonnes of organic and 821,778 metric tonnes of blended inorganic fertilisers as well as 24,000 metric tonnes improved seeds valued at GH0.6 billion were provided to about 1.9 million farmers.

Mr Ofori Atta said government intends to increase subsides on retail prices of seeds, fertilisers and other agrochemicals and focus on developing irrigation schemes.

He said government would facilitate the provision of community owned and managed small-scale irrigation facilities across the country especially in northern Ghana, through the policy of ”One Village, One Dam”, and improve the ratio of extension officers to farmers.

Source: Ghana News Agency