Government to establish Agricultural zones to drive sustainable and commercially oriented agriculture

Source The Ghana Report

The government has announced its readiness to establish Agricultural zones in parts of the country which have the potential to become food baskets for the nation.

The strategy is a complementary initiative aimed at addressing accessibility to large tracts of agricultural land which in turn would drive sustainable and commercially oriented agriculture.

The project which is under the Phase II two of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative is to be established in the Afram Plains, Tsopoli, Kumawu, Krachi and Nkoranza, among other areas.

Delivering his penultimate State of the Nation’s Address to Parliament, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the initiative would facilitate the country’s vision of becoming self-sufficient in food production.

“…having determined that large-scale commercial farming is the easiest way to achieve our set goal of food self-sufficiency, government, under the second phase of the PFJ, will establish Agricultural Zones as a complementary initiative to address the issue of access to large tracts of agriculture land, to drive sustainable and commercially oriented agriculture,” he said.

He says the government will collaborate with the private sector for essential provisions including irrigation, and infrastructure, develop access roads, extend power -either solar or hydro and provide mechanization services.

The government is also investing in making the agricultural space more attractive to the youth with the continuous incorporation of technology.

“…the surest way of making agriculture attractive to young people is to take the drudgery out of farming, and the Government is continuing to make agricultural machinery and equipment easily available,” President Akufo-Addo said.

According to the President, some farming implements including tractors with accompanying implements, power tillers with accessories, maize shellers, units of combine harvesters, and rice millers have been distributed to farmers under the third and final tranche of the Brazilian More Food Programme.

Processors and mechanisation service providers on hire purchase arrangement have also been made available to farmers with hopes of distributing more farming tools to the sector.

“This year, under the Indian Exim Facility, tractors with matching implements, planters, boom sprayers, combine harvesters and corn pickers will also be made available,” he added.

The President believes that enhancing technology utilization in the agricultural space would significantly expand Ghana’s productive capacity in rice, soybean, maize and tomato.

“Indeed, between 2021 and 2023, rice imports fell by some forty-five percent (45%). In 2021, rice imports amounted to eight hundred and five thousand metric tonnes (805,000MT); in 2022, six hundred and fifty thousand metric tonnes (650,000MT); and, in 2023, four hundred and forty thousand metric tonnes (440,000MT),” he revealed.

President Akufo-Addo anticipates a continuous healthy trajectory for the country to achieve full self-sufficiency in rice production.

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