WHAT IS PFJ CAMPAIGN?
The Planting for Food and Job Campaign a policy that has been introduced by the NPP Government to help address the declining growth of Ghana’s agricultural sector.
It is a clarion call on every single Ghanaian to take farming as a full time or part time activity.
It is a five year long policy which is geared towards increasing food productivity and ensure food security for the country as well as reduce food import bills to the barest minimum.
It is also an avenue to modernize agriculture and make it a source of employment for the teeming youths.
- WHAT ARE THE PACKAGES INVOLVED IN THE PFJ CAMPAIGN?
The policy is built on five major pillars
- Supply of Improved Seeds to farmers at subsidized prices (50% subsidy)
- Supply of fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices (50% price cut)
- Free extension services to farmers (1200 extension officers from the five main agric colleges already enrolled onto the program. Additional 4,000 extension assistants to be mobilized)
- Marketing opportunities for produce after harvest, (arrangements have been made to offer ready markets for farmers who will be participating in the campaign)
- E-Agriculture (a technological platform to monitor and track activities and progress of farmers through a database system)
- WHAT ARE THE CROPS INVOLVED?
For the initial pilot phase, 5 crops have been selected. These are
- Vegetables- Tomato, Onion, Chili pepper
Other crops will be added in subsequent years.
- HOW DO I GET SELECTED?
A farmer will require a minimum of 2 to 3 acres to be part of the campaign. Any farmer can get enlisted by contacting his or her district agric director and presenting his particulars. His name and details will be taking and submitted to the Head Office in Accra.
Personnel from a contracted IT firm will visit individual’s farmers to take their biometric data and particulars including measurement of farm areas to facilitate easy distribution of inputs and resources.
An estimated 200,000 farmers are expected to participate in the pilot phase. This figure will increase in subsequent years.
It is expected that hundreds of thousands of direct jobs will be created as many youths will be encouraged to take advantage of the attractive incentives involved in the campaign.
Furthermore, with the promise of ready markets for farm produce, farmers can be assured of reliable income after harvest.
Concept Note on Planting for Food and Jobs
Ghana is blessed with vast arable lands yet every year we spend huge millions of dollars to import food items into the country.
What is more, the contribution of agriculture, which is largely touted as the backbone of Ghana’s economic development, has seen steady decline over the past eight years.
From a GDP growth of 7.4% in 2008 during the exit of the then NPP administration, the sector declined to as low as 2.4% in 2016.
However, the situation is not a lost one. Under the NPP administration led by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo, Ghanaians are beginning to see hope and prosperity.
In order to arrest the declining trend and reverse this anomaly, the government has introduced the flagship agricultural policy “Planting for Food and Jobs”
The campaign is a national clarion call on every Ghanaian to take up farming as a full time or part time activity.
Whether you are a bank manager, a teacher market woman or a nurse, you are being encouraged to plant something.
The policy is built on five major pillars.
- Supply of improved seeds at subsidized prices to farmers
Less than 11% of Ghanaian farmers are said to be using improved seeds in their farming activities. This situation results in lower yields and lack of productivity. With the provision of improved seeds, farmers can be assured of high quality seeds with expected high yields.
The good news to farmers is that government has absorbed 50% of the cost of these seedlings. With the other 50%, the farmer will make a down payment of 25%. The other 25% will be paid after harvesting the produce.
- Provision of subsidized fertilizers
Similar arrangements exist under the fertilizer subsidy program. Government has slashed 50% of the cost of fertilizer
- Provision of free extension services to participating farmers.
- A market opportunity for farmers once produce are harvested.
- An introduction of technology in agricultural practices (E- Agriculture)