Tema,— Justice Isaac Douse, Former Appeal Court Judge, has advised the Minister of Agriculture to engage agricultural graduates for the implementation of government’s flagship programme ‘Planting For Food and Jobs’.
Justice Douse who is also the Chief Technical Advisor of the Centre for Greater Impact Africa noted that “if the Minister continues to engage in the same practice of using farmers to implement the programme, Ghana will continue to see the increase in food importation practices irrespective of the initiative.
“Instead of using those who have studied agriculture and are just coming out of school to do the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme, the Minister is rather using the same people, and for five years they have been doing the same thing, and food prices keep increasing.”
Justice Douse, who was chairman of the Ghana@50 Presidential Commission, made the suggestion when members of the Centre for Greater Impact Africa took their turn at the Ghana News Agency Tema Industrial News Hub Boardroom discussion platform.
He said the biggest problem Ghana manifesting in the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme was not allowing technical people to do technical work.
He said those who studied agriculture must be allowed to lead the programme while the farmers were used as supporting staff, explaining that the graduates would put in fresh ideas that might transform the yields.
Justice Douse questioned the contributions of products of the agriculture institutions in the country saying, “institutes of agriculture were established several years ago, where are the products of those institutions?
Justice Douse said agriculture and the natural resources of a country were the foundations and health of every nation and, therefore, attention must be paid to it if Ghana wanted to derive more benefit from it.
He noted, for instance, that it was worrying that Ghana depended on nature farming which only thrived during the raining season, instead of organizing herself to have farming all year round.
According to him, the many streams in Ghana could be developed into lakes by the creation of barriers along the river flow to provide the resource for aquaculture as well as for irrigation purposes.
Justice Douse, who doubles as the Governing Chairman of Wisconsin University, said it beat his imagination why Ghana imported onions from Mali and tomatoes from Burkina Faso, stressing that “if these countries failed to bring in their products for three weeks, Ghana would be in trouble”.
He added that it was worrying that even though Ghana had shallots in the Volta Region, it was not being promoted, adding that “we have suppressed our industries for others, even though Burkina Faso is almost a desert, they produce tomatoes for us.”
Mr Francis Ameyibor, GNA Tema Regional Manager indicated that the Agency uses the platform to deepen the working relations with the stakeholders to ensure that both the media and the corporate world work together towards national development.
The event also serves as a motivational mechanism to recognize the editorial contribution of reporters to the professional growth and promotion of Tema GNA as the industrial news hub while contributing to national development in general.
Source: Ghana News Agency