ACCRA, Sept 8 (NNN-GNA) — President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said that Ghana has started exporting food to neighbouring countries following the effective implementation of the “Planting for Food and Jobs” initiative.
Speaking during the commissioning of the OmniFert Fertilizer Factory, he stated the creation of a buoyant agricultural sector is at the heart of his government’s transformation agenda, “because agriculture continues to be the anchor of the country’s economy.”
He said: “Today, through our flagship programme for the revival of Ghanaian agriculture, dubbed “Planting for Food and Jobs”, we have provided support to some 1 million smallholder farmers, who produced, last year, a bumper harvest.”
“For the first time in a very long while, we exported food to our neighbouring countries, and we have also signalled our intention to reduce rice imports by at least 50 percent this year. There is every indication that this year’s harvest will be even greater than last year’s.”
With most small-holder Ghanaian farms characterised by low productivity, Akufo-Addo said that the application of correct amounts of fertiliser will be a factor in multiplying yield, and enhancing farmers’ incomes from the same acreage of land.
“That is why a key component of the programme for “Planting for Food and Jobs” is the provision of subsidized fertilizers to farmers,” the President said.
He, thus, applauded OmniFert for blending fertilizers locally, and offering the right blends to farmers according to their crops and specific soil types, explaining that “it will, surely, help create jobs for those of our youth interested in agriculture, and will increase productivity on our farms.”
Realising the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid, he noted, means “we must produce more locally to satisfy the demands of the domestic market, and we must equally produce in excess to meet international demands. Companies like Omnifert can help in achieving our goal of making Ghana the agricultural hub of West Africa.”
Akufo-Addo encouraged private sector players across all value chains of agriculture, such as improved seeds and fertilizer companies, and companies engaged in agricultural mechanisation, irrigation and water management, warehousing, food manufacturing and processing, logistics, cold storage and transportation, information technology and telecommunications, to join hands with government, and play their part in creating a Ghana Beyond Aid.
“I have great confidence in the Ghanaian’s sense of enterprise, creativity, innovation and hard work, and believe firmly that, given an enabling atmosphere, the sky is the limit for us. The promoters of Omnifert provide the evidence. I congratulate them on this remarkable achievement, and encourage them to continue to be shining examples of Ghanaian success,” the President added. — NNN-GNA