The 39th edition of National Farmers’ Day will be held tomorrow .The theme of the celebration is ‘Delivering Smart Solutions for Sustainable Food Security and Resilience’. The calendar event is meant to celebrate farmers for their invaluable contribution to the development of our country.
The annual event is a testament to the tremendous contribution made by our hardworking farmers and the vital role they play in our nation’s development.
The celebration seeks to harness the power of innovation and technology to improve the organisation of the national award event.
The occasion of Farmers’ Day presents an opportunity to remind ourselves of the need to stand in solidarity with our hardworking farmers, whose sacrifices, perseverance and tireless efforts ensure our sustenance. Ghana cannot take for granted the constant supply of our food and nutritional needs by our farmers despite the numerous challenges they face.
The issues of land ownership, limited access to market and financial services, effects of climate change, post-harvest losses, high cost of input, and low return on investment, among others, should make us appreciate our farmers even more. Through their dedication in the face of these adversities, agriculture has remained the backbone and driving force behind Ghana’s food security, industrialisation process, creation of job opportunities, economic growth, and foreign exchange earnings from diverse sources, among others.
The government is fulfilling its obligation of creating the necessary environment through policy interventions and other incentives to motivate farmers to play their role more effectively. He noted that it is imperative to demonstrate more sensitivity to the needs of our farmers to enable them to optimise productivity, build resilience, and attain a level of competitiveness derived from the efficient use of resources and technology.
In line with this, the theme for this year’s National Farmers’ Day celebration is ‘Delivering Smart Solutions for Sustainable Food Security and Resilience’. For this reason, the government rolled out its flagship programme Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) in 2017 to deliver target solutions to the problems within the agricultural sector.
The broad objectives of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) were to boost productivity, guarantee food security, produce ample raw materials for sustained industrialisation, promote exports, and generate job opportunities, particularly for our teeming youth.
After six years of implementation, there have been notable successes, especially in utilisation of fertiliser, acceptance and adoption of improved seeds as well as the adoption of good agronomic practices by farmers, leading to increased productivity and production.
However, there is the urgent need to expand productive capacity and harness the opportunity to unlock the full potential of the sector.
The outcome is the birth of the second phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative, which was out-doored last month by the President in Tamale.
At full implementation, the PFJ 2.0 will certainly change the face of Ghana’s agriculture. It is a five-year master plan for the renewal of agriculture in Ghana. It represents a new trajectory that replaces the input subsidy programme with an input credit intervention designed to accelerate the development of agriculture through a value chain approach.
Besides the input credit system that provides farmers with access to inputs such as seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, other elements of the programme are support services such as mechanisation and extension, storage infrastructure and logistic hub, off-taker arrangements/commodity trading, and last but not the least, a digitised platform for management, monitoring and coordination.