It’s Plantain season so don’t attribute it to Planting for Food and Jobs initiative – Eric Opoku

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The minister of food and agriculture has come under fire from the ranking member of the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee of Parliament for giving the false impression that plantain was on the list of crops for the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative (PFJ).

The Ranking Member stated that neither the PFJ budget nor crop list included plantain production.
“I was amazed seeing the minister parading plantain as the success story of PFJ,” he said.

Mr. Eric Opoku disagreed with the minister’s alleged assertion that Planting for Food and Jobs was to blame for the excess in plantain output.

He mentioned that plantains are a seasonal crop and have always been available now. So the availability of plantains on the market is not a function of the PFJ, he said.

On November 28, 2022, Emmanuel Quarshie (The Hitman), the host of the Ghana Yensom morning program on Accra 100.5 FM, conducted an interview with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for the Asunafo South Constituency in the Bono Region which was monitored by Ghanatodayonline.com.
He urged the sector minister to display the harvest produced by the PFJ.

He was eager to point out that PFJ had failed to guarantee the nation’s food security.
He said that the government’s reduction of investment in the nation’s agriculture sector was a key factor in why PFJ failed.

He said that the nation’s comparatively low price of imported rice is a result of the investments made in its production by the country of origin.

He said that the government takes care of fertilizers as well as other inputs from the countries where the rice is imported.

“In Ghana, this (NPP) government pays a 15 per cent subsidy on fertiliser for the ordinary farmer to pay 85 per cent,” He expressed dissatisfaction and noted that the NDC administration had purchased tractors from Brazil in 2016 and had subsided them by 60% so that farmers would only have to pay 40%.

However, he said, under the current administration, farmers are paying the entire price.
He said that because premix fuel is not accessible, the NPP administration has refused to invest in agriculture, and as a result Ghana now imports 730,800 metric tons of fish each year to supplement its yearly consumption of one million metric tons.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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