Donor partners bailout farmers’ day celebrations- Minister reveals

Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has bemoaned the lack of funds for this year’s farmers’ day celebration.

According to him, the ministry had to depend on sponsorship from corporate Ghana and other development partners to ensure successful celebration.

“The constraints of the national budget have been a major drawback to this year’s preparations given that the same budgetary allocation of GH₵2m approved for the fiscal years 2016 and 2017 was maintained in 2018.

In effect, the Ministry had to rely heavily on sponsorship from corporate Ghana and other development partners to ensure a successful celebration” he told parliament on Wednesday.

Presenting a statement on the floor of Parliament ahead of the 34th edition of the farmers Day which will be celebrated in the Northern Region, Dr. Owusu Afriyie said despite limited budgetary allocation, his ministry will ensure that deserving farmers will be rewarded on Friday.

He maintained that it was his hope that the budget approved for the National Farmers’ day will reflect the status of agriculture as the lead sector for propelling Ghana’s economy to the height of prosperity that the nation desires.

“I trust therefore that in reviewing the 2019 budget estimates for the Ministry of Agriculture, this matter will seriously engage the attention of the house and receive favourable consideration” he said.

The theme for this year’s celebration is under the theme: Agriculture, moving Ghana beyond aid.

According to the Minister, the planting for food and jobs, an initiative which kick started the transformation agenda in the first year of the administration of government has so far been a resounding success.

“There is no part of Ghana that has not been touched by the success story in terms of the abundant food production”.

In line with government’s objective of addressing the problems of agriculture comprehensively additional modules are set to be rolled out in 2019, the Minister noted.

These modules will focus on Tree Crop development under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD)programme, Vegetable production, Livestock development under the Rearing for Food and Jobs programme and mechanization.

He also assured farmers in the country of government’s continuous support since agricuture is the backbone of Ghana’s development.

For this year, organisers of Farmers’ Day have added week long fair which started last Friday, 30th November,2018.

The purpose is to provide a platform for key actors in the agricultural sector to interact on issues of common interest, share information and avail themselves of the opportunity to learn about new developments on the agricultural front.

Furthermore, the Minister added that the fair is structured that each region will have the opportunity to showcase its rich endowment and diversity of agricultural resources and potential.

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