The Minister of Food and Agriculture in Ghana, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has encouraged traditional rulers in the country to lead by example by being actively involved in the Planting for Food and Jobs programme starting by at least one food farm in their communities.
The Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, made the statement after President Akufo Addo’s address at a Special Meeting with the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi.
He commended Chiefs in the country for releasing lands for farming, but says the respected chiefs should do more by leading the crusade of “one chief, one farm” initiative.
These initiative he said will not only inspire their subjects to start their own food farms, but would also ensure food security in the country.
“I am appealing to you to do more as I introduce to you One Chief One Farm initiative” He noted, adding that he was very hopeful that through this initiative many jobs would be created in the communities as the youth are attracted to farm on their own or work on other people’s farms.
He pledged that his Ministry will support the chiefs and others with subsidised seeds and fertilizers and directed them to contact their district agricultural offices. This is in a bid to encourage participation in the scheme.
The minister further added that the objective of the initiative was to produce enough to ensure food and nutrition security in the country and also provide job opportunities in agriculture and allied sectors.
He expressed optimism that the country’s projection of bringing 1.5 million people into agriculture by 2020 will also be exceeded since the pilot target of mobilizing 200,000 people to be involved in planting has already been exceeded.
He advised chiefs in towns and cities, where large food farms could prove difficult, to convert their backyard compounds or every available space into food crop gardens and ensure that the aim of programme which is promoting urban vegetable production is achieved.
The Minister assured farmers that necessary marketing arrangements have been put in place to ensure that their produce don’t go to waste.