ACCRA, Efforts to restore Ghana’s economy hinges on agriculture, according to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who adds that a national campaign dubbed “Planting for Food and Jobs” will be launched to stimulate this activity.

“An amount of 125 million Canadian dollars has been secured from Canada, a friend of our nation, to support the initiative,” he said when delivering his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament here Tuesday.

“This campaign will be anchored on the pillars that will transform agriculture — the provision of improved seeds, the supply of fertilizers, the provision of dedicated extension services, a marketing strategy and the use of e-agriculture.”

President Nana Akufo-Addo said that in order to launch the campaign, the country’s district assemblies would be tasked with identifying and registering progressive farmers in each of the 216 districts.

Bemoaning how farmers had been left to cope by themselves, without the necessary support from government, he said that “for too long, our farmers have been left to the mercy of the vagaries of the weather”.

“We have decided to embark upon a programme to provide water to enable all-year farming. We are calling it the one-village, one-dam policy. It is a programme that I expect will rapidly get the support of the population, and should help to transform food insecurity in our country.”

He noted that the three regions (provinces) in the northern part of the country, in particular, would benefit from the availability of water to enable all-year farming, so that the enforced yearly migration could be minimized and food production become more predictable.

“I look forward to an increase in public investment in agriculture, starting from the first budget of my government. We must reverse the unfortunate trend of the past eight years, which saw a regular decrease in public investment in the sector that provides a living for the majority of our people,” he said.

On food processing, the President said food processing had been the first step towards industrialization in virtually every country, and it was time for the country to take it seriously.

“Not only will it serve to cut down on the wastage of crops during the high season, it will provide more jobs and expand farming business. Food processing will also save time in the preparation and cooking of our local foods, and there will be better control on the hygiene in the process,” he said.