President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday launched government’s flagship agricultural programme, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’, at Goaso in the Asunafo Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Modelled on the highly successful ‘Operation Feed Yourself (OFY)’ programme of the 1970s, the initiative is to be driven by 200,000 farmers selected nationwide and individuals willing to cultivate vegetables and other crops in their backyard.
The programme is aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and ensure sustainable supply of food at cheaper cost while creating jobs for the youth
The policy is expected to create about 750,000 jobs in both direct and indirect employment especially for the youth.
The campaign also seeks to create general awareness and encourage workers in both formal and informal sectors and the unemployed to grow grain crops and vegetables in open spaces including backyard gardens in urban areas.
Thousands of people from all walks of life filled the Nana Akwasi Bosomprah I Park at Goaso to witness the historic launch of the programmme which is expected to transform and modernize agriculture in the country, Adu-Gyamerah reported.
It was announced at the launch that, the government of Canada was supporting the programme with $125 million over the period of five years while the World Bank has pledged $50 million to support the programme this year with the Korean government pledging $9 million.
Launching the programme, President Akufo-Addo declared the programme was the answer to the modernization of agriculture which was expected to end the migration of the youth to city centres in search of non-existent jobs.
He stated that even though more than 50 per cent of the country’s population was engaged in agriculture, in the last few years growth in the sector had declined dramatically.
“Food is unnecessarily expensive in the country that is blessed with fertile land. Our production methods are not modern and income levels of farmers and fisherforks remain low, making the sector unattractive to the youth as a viable means of livelihood,” the President said.