The Ministry of Agriculture’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ridwin Issah Alhassan has vehemently defended the success of the Planting for Food and Jobs and has asked Ghanaians to ignore former President Mahama’s claims that the project is a failure.
According to him, facts on the ground do not support Mahama’s claims and should be disregarded quickly.
In an interview with Moonlite FM on Wednesday, September 8, the 2020 flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) claimed that the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) was started by his government but has failed under the current administration.
But speaking in an interview with Oheneba Nana Asiedu on Wontumi TV’s “Talk Ghana“, Issah Alhassan said Mr Mahama may be haunted by the long-held ‘incompetent’ title.
He emphasized that the visionary President Akufo-Addo revived the Agric sector which was a mess during the Mahama led NDC era asking: how can you you claim something you collapsed?
“We are not surprised about this claim coming from the former Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as they have also harboured the intentions to predict doom for the country,” he said.
“Ghanaians would recall that in 2017, the same party, represented by its Minority in Parliament, predicted that Ghana was going to face famine, akin to that of 1983, because of an outbreak of Fall Armyworm. But thanks to the vision and efficiency of the President Nana Akufo Addo-led administration, Ghana overcame the outbreak and recorded one of the highest productivity in the agricultural sector.
“We wish to assure the general public that the country will in fact experience a bumper harvest, despite the recent droughts experienced in the early part of the year as well as the challenges in supply of subsidized fertilizers.
“Ghanaians must rest assured that the country will not face food shortage neither will it experience famine as being claimed by the Former President Mahama.”
The concept of the agricultural flagship programme – Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) – reveals a policy introduced by the government to address the declining growth in the country’s agricultural sector.
It was launched on April 19, 2017 at Goaso in the Ahafo Region and spearheaded by the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, whose aim has been to carry the PFJ Campaign with passion, precision and success into the future.
The PFJ was introduced to encourage Ghanaians to take farming more seriously than in the recent past and aims to make farming once more a respectable and profitable venture and create jobs.
It is a campaign with five implementation modules, starting with the PFJ itself, which promotes food security via crops, namely: maize, rice, sorghum, soybean, and vegetable crops (onion, tomato, pepper, etc.). This has since been expanded to include groundnut, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, cassava, cowpea, plantain and Orange Flesh Sweet Potato.
The second module, which focuses on expanding the cash crops, is known as the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), while the Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) seeks to address the meat deficit in the country through the rearing of animals such as cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, fowls and guinea fowls.
The Greenhouse Villages Technology is one that focuses at ensuring that there is sufficient vegetables for both local and international markets while the Agricultural Mechanisation Service Centres (AMSECs) aims at mechanising agriculture through the use of hand-held implements and modernising agriculture.
In 2017 when the PFJ was launched, the focus was on Maize, Rice, Sorghum, soybeans, tomato, Onion and Pepper but by the beginning of the 2019 farming season, it included groundnut, cowpea, cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, carrot, cassava, plantain and orange flesh sweet potato (OFSP).