ACCRA, (Xinhua) -- Ghana’s
new agriculture policy to be launched next month will seek to make the country
Africa’s food basket, Minister of Food and Agriculture Afriyie Osei Akoto
disclosed here on Wednesday.
during the Agriculture Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) Summit,
the minister said the pilot program would target 200,000 local farmers and five
selected crops - soya, sorghum, maize, rice and vegetables.
is expected to cost about 560 million Ghana cedis, which is something like 120
million dollars, and is expected to generate 1.3 billion Ghana cedis in gross
revenue for the participating farmers and, more importantly, generate at least
750 000 jobs,” he said.
“In the first
year, you can imagine, as we step up, the generation of jobs is going to be very
great,” he added.
announced that the government would select about 200,000 farmers within the next
two months who will be assisted with improved seeds, fertilizers and extension
participation in the program would be expanded annually to ensure that at least
half of the population of five million farmers was assisted at the end of the
of the government, according to the minister, is how to maximize productivity
among Ghanaian farmers to reach the levels that farmers supported under the
ADVANCE program had reached.
produce not only for Ghana or West Africa or Africa, but we can be a big
producer and supplier of maize across the world and that is a fact most of you
will agree with,” he said.
program is under the Feed The Future initiative put together by Development
Partners and run in Ghana by the United States charity, USAID. It is in its
second phase with 113,000 farmers in a targeted program to bring investments in
specific regions for maximum impact.
Head of Mission at USAID, Steven Hendrix, noted that Ghana had the potential to
become Africa’s bread basket.
previously in Nigeria and we had a massive food aid program in the Boko Haram
affected areas. Just Maiduguri, a million people needed food assistance of some
sort and we were importing food because Nigeria could not grow the food they
needed. It could not get the food in the market for its citizens,” Hendrix said.
“And I thought, where we can get this food; And it turns out that places like
Ghana could be the bread basket, not only for West Africa, but for much of