The Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta, has said 2,000 livestock farmers will be supported with 70,000 small ruminants, sheep and goats, as part of efforts to improve the livelihoods of livestock farmers in the country.
In addition to this, he said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) will also support six National Livestock Breeding Stations to produce and distribute 200 crossbreed heifers, 1,700 improved pigs, and 100,000 cockerels.
The National Buffer Stock Company, according to the Minister, was revitalised to procure, store and distribute outputs from the Planting for Food and Jobs and other programmes of the Ministry.
The company in collaboration with the Agricultural Development Bank is said to have registered 553 licensed buying companies. This comes at the time government’s flagship “Planting for Food and Jobs” Programme (PFJ), has been described to have achieved tremendous success.
The PFJ has recruited 2,160 university graduates and 1,070 youth to register and provide extension services to farmers across the country.
So far under the programme, 201,000 farmers are said to have been registered as well as supplying 121,000MT of subsidised fertilizers and 4,454.98 MT of subsidised seeds of cereal, legumes and vegetables have been distributed to beneficiary farmers.
“The programme also registered suppliers to distribute farm produce to public institutions including the School Feeding Programme, the Free Senior High School Programme, Prisons, Defence and Police, among others to ensure availability of quality food in a timely manner in these institutions,” Mr. Ofori Atta said.
The Finance Minister disclosed these when he was presented the 2018 budget, themed: “Putting Ghana Back to Work,” to Parliament.
To promote agricultural mechanization as part of the government’s commitment announced in the in the 2017 budget, he said 220 tractors and accessories comprising 141 maize shellers, and 77 Multi-crop threshers were distributed to farmers and service providers.
“In 2018, the Ministry will distribute 200 tractors and matching implements, 1,000 power tillers and walking tractors, 30 tractor mounted rippers, 10 tractor drawn rear blade, 10 tractor mounted slasher, 60 boom and orchard sprayers, 4000 motorised sprayers, 60 mechanical and pneumatic planters, 50 cereal harvesters, 200 multi-crop threshers, 400 irrigation kits; engine and solar powered sprinklers sets, and 100 green house technologies for horticulture production.”
The Agric Ministry in collaboration with Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), is said to have completed the rehabilitation of the Mprumen dam and continued works on Tamne phase -1 headworks; Sakpe Zakpalsi; Kornorkle and Uasi which are at various stages of completion.
To facilitate the provision of community-owned and managed small-scale irrigation facilities especially in northern Ghana, Mr. Ofori Atta said 192 small dams and dugouts were identified in 64 districts for development under the ‘One-Village-One Dam’ initiative, beginning 2018.
In addition to this, 30 pumping schemes and 100 boreholes will be developed and a feasibility study conducted for water transmission lines in Northern Ghana.
He also announced that the US$1.8 billion syndicated loan used in purchasing 969,000 metric tonnes of cocoa for the 2016/17 cocoa season has been repaid. For the 2017/18 season an amount of US$1.3 billion has been raised to purchase a projected crop of 850,000 tonnes.