Speaking to the media after the Award Nights held in Tarkwa, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Bryan Acheampong said, He was delighted to see a female Farmer Madam Charity Akortia, win the 2023 -National Best Farmer. He indicated that women have a key role in play under PFJ 2.0. Women comprise a quarter of the world’s population and play an integral role in global food production, He added.
You may recall that in 2004, 75-year-old Madam Afua Frimponmaa won the National Beast Farmer Awards. The male and female difference reflects the gender gap in the agricultural sector participation, including farmers and other value chain actors. Despite women's important role, they rarely have equal access to opportunities in agriculture. They also have less say, if any, in decision-making around household spending and the land they will have to cultivate. Dr. Bryan lamented.
It is in this connection that H E the president and I led an engagement with the National House of Chiefs two months ago to appeal for the release of arable lands for production.
Dr. Bryan indicated that under his leadership, agriculture cannot continue to be business as usual if we want to achieve a sustainable and resilient food system that assures food security in the face of future shocks.
Ghana's agriculture sector characterized by low productivity, with many farmers achieving less than 60% of the potential crop yields, a challenge of high.
Farmers achieving less than 60 per cent of their crop yields with post-harvest losses ranging from 10% to as high as 70% in the agriculture sector is unacceptable, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong, has said.
He said he is, therefore, leading the strategy to change things for the better to enable farmers to get the desired results from their hard work in providing food for the country. He indicated that women have a key role to play in the sector especially when social agriculture interventions will be rolled out to support rural women to catch up in terms of production
According to the minister, PFJ Phase II introduced by the government “is a game changer that will help eliminate or reduce the challenges that have militated against the attainment of a sustainable and resilient food system”.
The minister said PFJ 2.0 will therefore scale up the adoption of new and improved technologies to contribute to sustainable food security and resilience by 2028.
It is private-sector driven and focuses on eleven selected commodity value chains which when fully developed can contribute to the transformation of the sector. These are Grains - maize, rice, soybean, and sorghum; Vegetables - tomato, pepper, and onion, roots and tubers – cassava and yam; Plantain and Poultry.
While the program’s focus is on implementing an efficient input credit system, the underpinning goals are to ensure food availability, reduce food price inflation, promote import substitution, promote exports, create jobs, and ensure food security and resilience.
The smart input credit system for farmers will enhance the operations of all value chain actors involved in the production and processing of the eleven (11) selected commodity value chains.
The PFJ Phase II provides that framework for this interconnectedness of the value chain actors where smart solutions can be delivered in a seamless, efficient, and effective manner.
He urged all agricultural stakeholders- farmers, input dealers, financial institutions, traders, processors, our revered chiefs, the youth, and women, to embrace the PFJ Phase II.
To ensure targets are met, a digital technology system will be deployed for continuous data collection, monitoring, and reporting to ensure remedial actions are taken promptly to keep the programme on track.
The enabling policy environment that the Government assures will trigger increased financing to the private sector to enable us to achieve the targeted objectives.