Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) to see expansion.

Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) to see expansion.

In Ghana today, one common household slogans used in the country to describe the agriculture sector is Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ). Recall, this Campaign was launched in April 2017 by H.E the president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.  The PFJ focused on improving the yields of farmers, access to markets, reducing post-harvest losses and enhancing extension service delivery.

The policy rallied all citizens to grow grain crops and vegetable in open spaces including backyards.

In furtherance of a vision to revamp and modernize agriculture in Ghana, under the leadership of, Dr. Bryan Acheampong, PFJ remains the flagship programme for the Agriculture Sector and is set to receive the needed attention for expansion.

Dr. Bryan believes that Ghana has no excuse to continue to import poultry and poultry products, rice, etc considering the resources available. What it calls for is commitment and political will to reverse the current undesirable situation of being a net importer to a production minded country.

In recent past, PFJ has featured prominently in various Ghanaian media platforms for obvious reason.  Many are of the view the programme was a success, however some Ghanaians including key stakeholders are of the contrary view to the effect that PFJ did not work as expected given the recent hikes in food prices.

 This places  many especially, farmers in anxiety and in anticipation to see what new ideas and strategy the new sector Minister   brings to the table to address the food security needs of our country.

The MP for Abetifi, Bryan Acheampong, PhD, Minister responsible for Food and Agriculture a former Minister of State at the Ministry of the Interior and at the Ministry of National Security. The accomplished politician and business leader is expected to continue with the transformation agenda in a sector at the heart of the country’s quest for food security, import substitution, and economic growth.

On assumption of office on 4th April as sector Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Bryan has been in engagement with key stakeholders to afford him greater insights into the challenges, opportunities, and potentials in the sector.

The minister holds the view that with a thorough understanding of the agriculture value chain actors, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is able to offer a better service which is more focussed and specific to the needs of the stakeholders.

More importantly, the engagements have been structured to build consensus on charting pathways for achieving national targets of sustainable food security, promotion of exports and industrialisation. The cross section of stakeholders engaged so far include value chain actors of strategic commodities such as rice, soya, maize, tomato, and poultry.

Having expressed satisfaction with the performance and success chocked over these years, However Dr. Bryan, believes there are still a lot more potential and retunes expected from PFJ. He says PFJ in the coming weeks will be in fully flight and more is expected in terms of results.

While it may not be possible to achieve the target of reversing imports by 2024, MOFA will leave no stone unturned to significantly reduce the countries dependence on imports.

The Hon.  Minister has said he is greatly inspired and encouraged by the support pledged during meeting with stakeholders and I am more than confident that the agenda of expanding the capacity of Ghana agriculture can be achieved. Government will, roll out programmes to facilitate growth in the livestock industry to complement the PFJ programme to increase food production and address the issue of food insecurity.

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