The General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) has taken a swipe at the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, over assertions that the ¢2.6 billion injected into the Planting for Food and Jobs Programe has yielded the desired results.
According to the Union, it is laughable that the Minister would still be flaunting figures when the reality on the grounds indicates otherwise.
It contends that the Planting for Food and Jobs Programe has failed due to the lack of farm inputs like fertilisers to aid farmers in their operations.
General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh said “why is he [Dr. Afriyie Akoto] talking about food alone. He should be able to tell us that we have employed a number of people. Because in 2017, he told us that Planting for Food and Jobs alone, brought about 745,000 jobs. So they should today tell us the farmer population ratio that is on the PFJP”.
Mr. Kareweh also questioned the credibility of the figures being quoted by the Minister saying “if 200,000 farmers could generate about 45,000 jobs, then the current number per the budget in 2021 was to raise the number to 1.2 million farmers; it means that we should be creating millions of jobs today”.
“These are things we want to know and he must come up and box up things this way. He shouldn’t expect us to take it as the gospel truth” Edward Kareweh added.
The Planting for Food and Jobs, according to the Agric Minister, has generated ¢50 billion cedis of farm produce since its inception.
Speaking at the launch of the 38th Farmers’ Day Celebration, Dr. Akoto re-emphasised that the ¢2.6 billion investment made by government into the initiative has yielded expected results.
“In the five years of Planting for Food and Jobs, government has invested c2.6 billion to subsidise just two inputs; improved seeds and fertilisers. If you convert this at the exchange rate existing at the time, it should be about $450 million”.
This year’s Farmers’ Day Celebration will be held in the Eastern region.