Government enhances farmers’ access made strides in agriculture initiatives

Accra, March 12, GNA – Government has enhanced farmers’ access to production inputs and increased beneficiary target from 1.

2 million to 1.4 million.

Overall, a total of 1,736,510 farmers benefited from subsidised fertilizers under the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative.

Under the Rearing for Food and Jobs Programme, the Ministry of Agriculture procured 531,100 improved breeds of small ruminants, pigs and poultry for distribution to farmers.

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Caretaker Finance Minister announced this on Friday during the presentation of the 2021 budget statement to Parliament.

He said the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority continued with the construction of various irrigation projects, which were at various stages of completion.

The Minister said the Tamne Phases one and two were at 90 and 50 per cent complete respectively with Mprumem Phase two at 95 per cent.

He said the rest were rehabilitation, modernisation, and expansion of existing schemes at Tono — 95 percent, Kpong Irrigation Schemes — 61 per cent and Kpong Left Bank Irrigation Project — 72 percent.

The Minister said the government would in 2021 complete the construction of Tamne Phases one and two, Mprumem Phase two and resettle displaced persons in the reservoir area.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said, as part of efforts to reduce the Fall Army Worm infestation to the barest minimum, 89,060 litres and 11,630 kilogrammes of strategic stocks of insecticides were procured and sprayed on all affected land areas.

He said a total of 261,147 hectares was sprayed and the loss of about 652,867mt of maize valued at GH¢783,440,400.00 was prevented.

The Minister said the Ministry of Agriculture would in 2021 procure 97,000 litres and 14,000kilogramme of insecticides for control of Fall Army Worm.

On Cocoa Production and Pricing, he said the producer price of cocoa for the 2020/2021 crop year was increased by 28 per cent from GH¢8,240.00 per tonne to GH¢10,560.00 per tonne (GH¢600.00/bag).

COCOBOD’s crop review for 2020/2021 year projected a production figure of 896,000 tonnes.

He said by the end of February 2021, cocoa taken-over stood at 771,461.06 tonnes, which placed the country on course to achieve its target.

Mr Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu said the Ghana School Feeding programme provided one hot nutritious meal per school for children in basic schools, stressing that a total of 2,980,000 pupils in 8,683 basic schools benefited from the programme in 2020, and pledged its continuation in 2021.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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