The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr George Oduro, has called on stakeholders in the agricultural sector to be vigilant and report fertiliser smugglers to the security agencies for arrest and prosecution.
He stated that government was ready to develop the agricultural sector and to improve upon the living standards of people in the country, but said the activities of such recalcitrant fertiliser smugglers could pose a threat to the successful implementation of the sound agricultural policies by government.
Mr Oduro said this at a forum for stakeholders in the agricultural sector in Wa, in the Upper West Region on Monday.
The meeting was to discuss the progress of agricultural activities in the region and carve the way forward on how to improve upon quality food productivity.
“Government is ready to assist famers by giving them 50 per cent subsidy of input, especially on fertiliser, but this intervention would still not be helpful if you are not vigilant enough to ensure that the fertiliser reaches its intended recipients,” he stated, and added that the programme would continue to expand and protect the economy of the indigenous Ghanaian.
The Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr Emmanuel Sasu Yeboah, in his presentation said, the beneficiaries for Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs) in the region were 162,621, which consisted of 122,618 males and 40,003 females, adding that it was one of the regions having more farmers subscribing to the PFJs programme since 2017.
He said the special rice initiative beneficiaries in the region sum up to 2,917, and they were working very hard to boost rice production in order to reduce the importation of rice into the country.
“Wa, Jirapa, Wa East, Sissala West, and Nandom assemblies are all part of the beneficiaries of PFJs in the region,” he said.
Mr Yeboah said the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) aimed at creating jobs for the unemployed youth, and to ensure sustainable supply of raw materials to support the government’s decentralised industrialisation drive, the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative.
The programme, which attracted participants including the input dealers, heads of department, the media and farmers, was also to gather their inputs toward the successful implementation of the programme next year.
FROM RAFIA ABDUL-RAZAK