Over 5,000 farmers in the Kwahu Afram Plains South District have benefitted from the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ (PFJ) programme, a programme initiated by the government to improve agriculture in the country.
Speaking on the theme: ‘Agribusiness Development Under COVID-19- Opportunities and Challenges’ Mr George Ofori, the Kwahu Afram Plains South District Chief Executive (DCE) during the 36th National Farmers’ day celebration held at Maame Krobo said the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ (PFJ) programme accounted largely to the country’s food security to effectively manage the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
“We recognised that the toil and sweat of farmers ensured that the country’s food security is firmly intact, and has helped to avert hunger as some people feared, thanks to the government’s intervention programmes to improve agriculture in the country,” he stressed.
He said a total of 59,887 NPK, 90,150 Kilogrammes of hybrid maize seeds, and 30,118 bags of urea for cropping were distributed to farmers to cultivate 30,118 acres in the district.
He said the Agriculture Department had supplied to farmers 130 acres of seed rice and 150,000 cashew seedling under the ‘Planting for Employment and Rural Development’ (PERD) programme to encourage farmers to cultivate on a large scale.
Additionally, Mr Ofori said 25 acres of mango plantation sited at Odumasua and 25 acres of cashew plantations were established at Semanhyia and Hwanyanso as part of climate change mitigation measures.
He said, for the government to curb the clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmersin the district, a ranch has been provided at Wawase to enable cattle farmers to house their animals to improve cattle rearing practices in the area.
He advised the cattle farmers to send their animals to the ranch to minimise the unnecessary tension between crop and cattle farmers; especially during the drying season, adding that the assembly’s by-law on livestock which was fully operational would deal with anyone who would fail to comply.
Mr Ofori lauded Ghanaian farmers and fisherfolk for breaking their back to put food on the table of the citizenry at the height of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
He said the government has supplied farming equipment such as tractors, ploughing machines, irrigation equipment among others to the district assembly to be rented out to farmer at a lower cost to ease pressure on farmers who cultivate on a large scale.
Government, he said, would continue to put farmers at the centre of national development to be able to energise the people to work for the progress of the country.
He, therefore, encouraged businessmen and investors to partner the District Assembly to invest in agricultural production, processing and marketing in order to help create employment for economic development and also appealed to rural banks to make it easy for hardworking farmers to access credit for agribusiness.
Mr Moses Bamfo, the District Agriculture Director also entreated the farmers to work closely with the Department to enable them to practise modern techniques in farming.
Nana Adu Paaku II, the Pitiku Krontihene lauded the government for supporting the people of Afram Plains in terms of development and improving the living standards of the citizenry through his flagship programmes and interventions such as the PFJ, the PERD, ‘One District, One Factory’, One Million Per Constituency programmes.
He urged the people to embrace these programmes to help create employment in the district and the country at large.
Awards such as fridges, cutlasses, Wellington boots, knapsack machines, motorbikes, tricycle, gloves, silver pans and agrochemicals were presented to deserving and hardworking farmers to commemorate the occasion.