Dr Doris Yaa Osei, a Senior Research Scientist and a Head of Animal Health Division at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research of Animal Research Institute (CSIR-ARI) has exhorted Ghanaians to take advantage of the government’s planting for food and jobs phase 2 to significantly reduce import of food products into the country.
Dr Doris Osei who doubles as lecturer in Micro-Livestock Nutrition and production System at CSIR College of Science and Technology made the exhortation when delivering her key note address as Special Guest of Honour at the 39th Farmers Day celebrations of the Adentan Municipal Assembly held on Friday, December 1, 2023 at Amanfro in the Koose Electoral area.
According to her Ghana spends huge amount on importation of food productions. However, when Ghanaian could see the benefits in the Planning for Food and jobs programme and take advantage of it, it can significantly reduce food importation thereby boosting the economy.
“Mr Chairman, Ghana imported 796,000.433 metric tons of wheat, rice and maize at the cost of 156.47 million US dollars equivalent of 722.58 million Ghana cedis and 36,543 metric tons of meat at cost of 15.33 million US dollars which is equivalent of 92 million Ghana cedis in 2021. It is of a prime importance that Ghana takes advantage of the Planting for Food and Jobs phase 2 to increase the production of crops and meats to cut down of the huge amount of money spend on importation of these agricultural products”, she stated.
Giving an account of how the planting for food and jobs phase 1 faired before advocating for the phase2, she indicated that it has improved the country’s security through increase fertilizer usage, adoption of improved seeds and good agronomic and husbandry practices by farmers.
The astute lecturer also stated that the phase 1 has shown that proper utilization of existing irrigation schemes will significantly improve food production of some critical crops such as rice, onion and tomatoes of which this country spends huge amount of money on importing annually.
The planting for food and jobs phase 2 launched recently mains at achieving sustainable food security and resilience for all with focus on value chain of agricultural and import substitution programme for reducing the country’s over resilience on food import. When role out, farmers will have access to more facilities to enable them increase their production to ensure food security and resilience across the nation.
SOURCE: Divine Mensah Vadze/NSP/CSU