Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ)
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.
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)
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.
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)
Government on its flagship programmes:
The Akufo-Addo administration has delivered on some of its campaign promises since taking office in January 2017.
Though a lot of work still needs to be done to see to it that the country’s economy is transformed, the Akufo-Addo-led administration has done a significant amount of work in just hundred days to set the right foundation for much needed change Ghanaians voted for.
Ghanaians through a tall list of measures and interventions that have been put in place by the NPP government to boost growth in the economy and stimulate development across the country.
The NPP has abolished excise duty on petroleum, levies imposed on ‘kayayei’ by local authorities, levies imposed on religious institutions by local authorities, reduced National Electrification Scheme Levy from 5% to 3%.
In the fishing industry, the government spread the allocation of premix fuel to more OMCs. Previously only 2 OMCs were allowed to sell premix. As part of government’s effort to ensure transparency and stamp out corruption, we have increased the number to 9.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, making good his promise of free secondary education, declared that, beginning public senior high schools (SHS) would be free.
By free SHS, there will be no admission fee, no library fee, no science centre fee, no computer lab fee, no examination fee, and no utility fee; there will be free text books, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free.
Free SHS will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level. I also want to state clearly again that we have a well-thought out plan that involves the building of new public senior high schools and cluster public senior high schools.
Nursing trainee allowance restored
Trainee nurses have lined up to thank President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for restoring their allowances scrapped by the previous government.
The allowances will see over 58,000 trainee nurses and midwives in the various public nursing and midwifery schools receive a little over GH¢400 every month.
The allowance, which were scrapped by the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) was met with strong resistance from the nursing trainees who complained bitterly about the difficulties it had brought upon them.
The NDC government insisted the continuous payment of the allowances would threaten the future of Ghana’s economy.
National Digital Property Addressing System
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, October 19, has launched the National Digital Property Addressing System, “ghanapostGPS”, describing it as a “move ever closer to realizing our vision of formalising the Ghanaian economy.”
The informal nature of the economy, he explained, has affected the nation’s ability to broaden the tax base, deepen and widen financial inclusion, and deliver services to those most in need.
The launch of the National Digital Property Addressing System is a fulfillment of one of the campaign promises made by the New Patriotic Party, in its bid to win the December 2016 elections.
Paperless port transactions take-off
In May 2017, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia gave three directives at a port efficiency conference he organised to improve trade in the country.
The directives included the removal of all customs barriers on the country’s transit corridor, a joint inspection by all regulatory agencies at the ports and a hundred percent paperless transactions at the ports.
Ahead of the implementation of the directives, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, GCNet, West Blue Consulting, customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ghana Shippers Authority, the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and a host of other stakeholder institutions including the freight forwarding associations embarked on several engagements with importers and freight forwarders to educate them on what they need to expect and changes that have been made on their systems.
One district, one factory project- One district, one Warehouse
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched government’s one district, one factory project, with the promise to drive industrialization across the country.
At a ceremony at Ekumfi in the Central Region, Nana Addo cut the sod for the construction of the first factory under the programme.
The Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Limited is expected to be completed in 2018, with the promise of creating over 4,000 direct jobs. It will also employ some 5,000 outgrowers.
At least 173 factories are ready to be rolled out as part of the initiative.
The 173 projects will be carried out by private businesses with support from the government.
The one district, one factory project marks a giant step towards the fulfilment of major promises made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the heat of the 2016 general elections.
However, he has launched the first warehouse under the One-District-One-Warehouse programme.
It will be recalled that Nana Addo said at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo Region at the launch of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme that his government was going to build one warehouse in each of the 216 districts across the country.
Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP)
The overall sector goal of the program is to contribute to an equitable and sustainable poverty Reduction and food security among rural households. The specific objective is to increase northern Ghana area rural households’ income on a sustainable basis.
The proposed program would be implemented in 32 districts located in northern Ghana over a six-year period under four components:
- Commodity Chain Development;
- Rural Infrastructure Development;
- Access to Financial Services; and
- Program Coordination. The following is a brief summary of the Program description.
The program will have positive social impact on men, women and youths in the program area. About 372,000 rural households or three million people living in these households will directly or indirectly benefit from the program. An estimate of 1.56 million of women will also benefit from the program.
NRGP addresses the priorities of the Government of Ghana in the pursuit of poverty reduction as describe above. NRGP will contribute to achieving the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the NEPAD’s Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP).