President John Dramani Mahama has indicated that his second term of office would witness a massive growth in the production of non-traditional food and cash crops to supplement traditional exports.
He said although cocoa had over the years remained one of the backbones of the economy, government would step investments in palm oil, coffee, shea nuts, and rice production to support economic development and reduce importation.
Mahama was speaking when the National Executive Members of the Ghana National Association of Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanuts farmers called on him at his cantonment residence, in Accra.
The farmers were at his residence to thank him for the various innovations government had carried out in the agricultural sector during his first tenure of office.
The visit was also to encourage the President to continue to support the sector to grow for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
Mahama said Ghana had become self-sufficient in cassava, yam and plantain production and would scale up rice production as it had over the years become a major staple.
He promised to set up input centres at two cocoa districts on pilot basis where estimates concerning farmers’ preparations would be made available for them to step up production.
This, he said would supplement the 50 farmers’ service centres that government was establishing throughout the country and urged farmers to take advantage of the facilities.
“As a farmer myself who has harvested 800 bags of maize this year, I will continue to see the agricultural sector as a priority.”
Nana Johnson Mensah, Western South chief cocoa farmer commended Mahama for supplying free cocoa seedlings, fertilizer and mass spray exercises in the cocoa sector.
Payment of farmers’ bonuses, he added had over the years spurred them on to scale up productions in their various fields.
“Farmers will continue to be grateful to your administration for all these wonderful things you have done for us”, he added.
Alhaji Imoro Issifu Alhassan, Northern Regional Chief Sheanuts farmer announced that the national steering committee Mahama constituted to formulate a policy document had been completed and called on to fast track its implementation.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK