Agriculture will continue to be a priority – Akufo-Addo assures

President Nana Akufo-Addo has touted the achievements of one of the government’s flagship programmes, planting for food and jobs (PFJ), emphasizing that agriculture will remain a priority to his government.

He said the government’s interventions in the agriculture sector have led to an increase in the production of grains such as maize and rice.

Speaking at this year’s Farmers’ Day Celebration at Koforidua on Friday, President Akufo-Addo cited maize production which reached 3.4 million tonnes by 2021 and rice to 1.2 million metric tonnes at the inception of the PFJ initiative compared to production recorded prior to his administration.

He observed that the PFJ initiative has made Ghana attain food security adding that the country was better prepared to respond to adversities that threaten to destabilise food systems.

The president praised farmers, fishers and other value chain actors for embracing the initiative and making it a success.

“Agriculture will continue to remain a top priority of my government. The massive investments made in the sector attest to this fact. The positive narrative about the government’s support to the agriculture sector is that, unlike several other countries, Ghana is better prepared, and has demonstrated resilience to the current adversities threatening to destabilise our food systems. This has been possible because of the sound, pragmatic policies and programmes rolled out at the inception of my stewardship.

“Our flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), with its focus on improving farm productivity, through the use of technology on farms, has succeeded in increasing our food security, and opened up new opportunities for diversifying our agricultural exports by promoting six (6) tree crops for future substantial foreign exchange earnings.”

The president lamented the high prices of foodstuff, especially in urban centres.

He said the government will continue to monitor the situation and intervene to bring respite to Ghanaians.

One of the interventions he suggested was the PFJ market which is aimed at selling relatively cheaper food to consumers.

“As a country, it is important to draw on very hard lessons from the impact of external factors on our food systems. Food prices in urban centres are unacceptably high. However, it is equally true that some internal factors are also contributing to the high prices. The government continues to evaluate the situation for appropriate action to be taken.”