The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has disclosed that the government will soon roll out the much anticipated mandatory Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme.
He said the scheme would provide a decent pension for cocoa farmers after a minimum of five years contribution.
“I am happy to announce, again that the Cocoa Management System is ready, setting in motion the processes of rolling out fully the much anticipated cocoa farmers pension scheme,” he said.
The President made this known at the 38th National Farmers’ Day celebration, which was held in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
In all 13 farmers and fishers were awarded for their hard work and contribution to agricultural development in the country.
The President stated that it was important to mention the living Income Differential being spearheaded by Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana, was a progressing despite seeming obstacle from some international trading partners.
He assured farmers that the government would do everything possible to see the full implementation of the scheme to cushion them against price volatility and guarantee sustainable livelihoods for them.
President Akufo-Addo stated that agriculture would continue to remain a top priority of the government, noting that the massive investment made in the sector attested to the positive narrative about government’s support to the agricultural sector.
He said that the country was better prepared, and had demonstrated resilience to the current adversities that threatened to destabilise the country’s food systems, adding that “the situation has been made possible because of sound, pragmatic policies and programmes rolled out at the inception of my steward.”
The President recalled that since 2017, strategic interventions in the agricultural sector had emphasised value addition through the implementation of the One-District-One-Factory flagship programme by government.
“It is instructive to note that 172 of the 296 factories to be established under the programme are agro-based, processing the rapidly increasing farm output of our farmers,” he said.
He revealed that “since 2016, government inherited production levels of 1.7 million metric tonnes of maize and 665,000 tons of rice. Under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), maize production reached 3.4 million metric tonnes by 2021 and rice to 1.2 million metric tonnes.”
He indicated that the success had been made possible due to the hard work of the gallant farmers, fishers and value chain actors who embraced the PFJ policies, and leveraged the opportunities created by the enabling environment for agricultural development, revealing that the PFJ has targeted other sectors under agriculture with promising results.
For his part, the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said in keeping with regular annual engagement with farmers and stakeholders, his outfit had embarked on field visits to 10 regions and the last leg of annual visits would take them to the northern belt, adding that the visits, provided the ministry to fully assess the performance of the agricultural sector on the ground and the priorities for policy direction.
He was confident that there was going to be good harvest and stated that the country’s food security situation remained strong.
Dr Akoto congratulated the farmers for ensuring food security and thanked them for responding favourably to the incentives provided by the government under the flagship PFJ.
From Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman, Koforidua