The European Union (EU) has pledged unwavering support for Phase II of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ 2.0) programme.
European Union Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly, confirmed the EU’s dedication while signing two grant financing agreements between Ghana and the European Union (EU) totalling €42million.
He said: “Let me stress that the European Union is unreservedly supporting the Planting for Food and Jobs 2.0 programme presented by the minister under the president’s chairmanship last week”.
The European Union’s unwavering support for Ghana’s Planting for Food and Jobs 2.0 programme is a significant boost to the nation’s agricultural sector, and a testament to collaborative efforts in achieving food security, economic growth and sustainability. As Ghana embarks on this transformative journey, backing from the European Union provides the necessary impetus for realising these ambitious goals.
The PFJ 2.0 – an agricultural initiative by government – aims to enhance food security and resilience within the country over the next five years. This new phase is a reflection of government recognising challenges faced during the initial six years of programme implementation.
The Ambassador further elaborated on EU support for PFJ 2.0: “Specifically, we will support value chains like soybean, vegetables, bee-keeping and sustainable cocoa production; and also actions to prevent deforestation and promote reforestation in Ghana. I would like to underline that it is not one or the other; it is not sustainability or development; it is not sustainability or economic growth – it is growth and enhancement”.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) is taking immediate action in fourth-quarter 2023, supplying 4.5 million day-old chicks, vaccines and starter-pack feed to anchor farmers and their outgrowers. This intervention is projected to yield an additional 13,200 metric tonnes of poultry meat by end of this year, increasing Ghana’s self-sufficiency to 7 percent.
In 2024, the ministry plans to further boost the poultry sector by providing support for 18 million day-old chicks, vaccines and starter-pack feed, which will result in the production of 42,600 metric tonnes of meat and a self-sufficiency rate of 13 percent . This trajectory will continue until the nation reaches full self-sufficiency.
Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture is determined to revitalise the poultry industry by rehabilitating 300 outgrown poultry farms nationwide within the next 12 months. Each of these farms has the potential to produce 200,000 birds within a poultry cycle of four months.
The Ambassador stressed the importance of these initiatives, citing statistics that reveal Ghana’s poultry consumption of 324,000 metric tonnes while only being able to produce approximately 15,000 metric tonnes – indicating a self-sufficiency rate of under 5 percent. The PFJ 2.0’s five-year plan seeks to elevate Ghana’s self-sufficiency from 5 percent to 7 percent by end of 2023 and further to 13 percent in 2024, ultimately reaching full self-sufficiency of 110.6% by 2028.
Furthermore, Ambassador Razaaly emphasised the EU’s commitment to sound public financial management, stating: “Our commitment to sound public financial management demonstrates the importance we place on strengthening governance structures and promoting transparency. This critical factor underpins effective and efficient public administration, enabling societies to allocate resources and investment effectively and equitably.”
He also highlighted the EU’s emphasis on private sector development, underscoring the transformative power of Ghanaian entrepreneurs and innovation. “Creating an enabling environment for the private sector is essential for job creation, economic diversification and poverty reduction,” he said.
By supporting initiatives that stimulate the growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), the EU aims to unlock Ghana’s entrepreneurial potential and foster economic prosperity.
Moreover, the EU is committed to supporting digitalisation, training and greater inclusiveness of women and youth in the private sector. Ambassador Razaaly expressed: “Together, these areas represent a comprehensive approach to sustainable development that we hope will impact not only Ghana but also serve as a catalyst for implementing the European Union’s global gateway strategy”.
In closing, Ambassador Razaaly emphasised the strong partnership between the European Union and Ghana. “The financing agreements that we are signing today are testament to the strong partnership and shared commitment between the European Union and Ghana.”
The partnership agreements promise to address key challenges in the areas of sustainable development, public financial management and private sector growth, and were signed amid optimism and shared commitment.
The first agreement, valued at €27million, is the ‘EU action for Sound Public Financial Management and Private Sector Development” programme. It has dual objectives: improving transparency and accountability in the management of public resources and fostering the development of a greener, digitalised and more inclusive private sector in Ghana. The second agreement, the ‘EU-Ghana Partnership for green transition and agribusiness’, amounts to €15million and is laser-focused on promoting sustainable, climate-resilient agricultural production.