Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, urged homeowners to do backyard gardens when he launched the ‘Let’s make agriculture flourish in Greater Accra’ campaign at the Teshie Military academy and Training School (MATS) in Accra.
He observed that the history of Ga Homowo Festival talks about ensuring food security in the Ga Kingdom, since Homowo means “Hooting at Hunger”.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto noted that the Ban on Drumming and other noisemaking is to enable the Chiefs, Priests and People of the region to forgo merrymaking and concentrate on cleaning and clearing their farms ready for planting.
To this end, the minister instructed the Greater Accra Director of his ministry to ensure that enough improved and subsidised seeds and fertilisers are easily accessible for farmers in the region.
“In the past there have been farmer complaints about unavailability of subsidised seeds and fertilisers, which compels them to buy at exorbitant prices from unapproved input dealers,” he stated.
Consequently, he charged input dealers to address the problem. Dr. Afriyie-Akoto noted that the Planting Food and Jobs (PFJ) has many achievements which have not only saved the country from hunger but enabled us to export food to neighbouring countries in return for foreign exchange.
“The flagship programme that started with 200,000 smallholder farmers barely 4 years ago is now targetting two million farmers this year. I therefore urge more farmers to register in order to benefit from the subsidised prices of inputs and also increase harvests.”
The minister also indicated that, beyond Homowo, the Greater Accra Department of Agriculture aims to support households, especially women and youth to produce and process selected vegetables to improve household nutrition.
“The project is expected to cover all 29 districts of the region. Target crops to be produced include vegetables such as tomatoes, pepper, onion, okro and cabbage, and cereals such as maize and rice,” he added.
The Municipal Coordinating Director-LEKMA, Eric Asamani, said the 2021 planting season has started. 182 farmers made up 157 males and 25 females have so far registered out of a targetted 300 farmers. It is expected that more farmers will register after the fair.