New Agric Policy to Create 750,000 Direct Jobs in 2017- Minister Designate Reveals

The Planting For Food and Jobs Policy, set to be rolled out by the NPP administration is expected to create about 750,000 direct jobs in the first year of its operations, the Minister designate for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has disclosed.

This figure, according to him, will increase to over 1.5million in subsequent years as part of the implementation of the flagship policy.

The policy, expected to commence in the coming crop season, is aimed at increasing food production and ensure sustainable supply of food at cheaper cost whilst creating jobs for the teeming youth in the country.

It is expected to roll out in all 216 districts across the country and will involve the supply of farm resources such as high yielding and improved seedlings to participating farmers to be carefully selected by both the regional and district directorates under the agric ministry.

It will engage the services of over 1,000 unemployed graduates from the five Agric Colleges across the country as well as about 3,200 extension officers to provide expertise and supervisory services to beneficiary farmers.

The Minister designate for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Afriyie Akoto made the announcement when he held a meeting with all regional directors of agriculture as well as heads of national institutions under the ministry in Accra yesterday.

The meeting was aimed at briefing participants on government’s policy for agriculture and to discuss modalities towards achieving targets indicated in the party’s manifesto.

He disclosed that a seed capital of $50 million dollars has been earmarked by government to provide a ready market for farming produce expected to be realized from the policy.

Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the policy was in line with the pledge by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo’s pledge to modernize agriculture and create jobs for the numerous unemployed youths in the country.

He however warned that the government will not entertain any laxity or lackadaisical attitude towards work, cautioning that anyone who does share in the vision of government must either bow out or will be left behind.

“There is no time for laziness; those times are gone. It is now time for action, we need to fulfill the promises made to Ghanaians and we are not going joke about that. If you think you can’t be part of that kindly exit and allow those who are ready, to work!,” He noted.

The Minister designate however expressed confidence in the capacity of the officers to execute their duties, stressing that the declining trends of the agricultural sector over the last eight years must be halted and reversed.

He further hinted of a complete overhaul of the structures within the ministry in order to ensure coordination and direction.