The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of Ghana has lauded the ‘Planting for Food and Job’ project by the ruling government.
GAWU says such an initiative is “seeking to increase food production and it is a laudable project”.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday launched the government’s flagship agricultural programme, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’.
The project is expected to be rolled out in all 216 districts across the country and will involve the supply of farm resources such as high yielding and improved seedlings to participating farmers.
The government has said that it intends to revolutionize agriculture in the country by introducing the programme which is expected to create more than 750,000 jobs.
The programme, according to the government, would also motivate farmers to grow staple foods such as maize, millet, and beans.
Commenting on the project on Onua FM’s Ghana Dadwene on Wednesday hosted by Nana Okyere Awurukuo, the General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh, said “rice, maize, beans, sorghum are staple foods consumed by most Ghanaians but that is not all that Ghanaians needs so it will satisfy some of Ghanaians”.
He was optimistic that “many more food crops will be covered under the project as it progresses”.
“We should try to produce the ones we have competitive advantage and leave the rest for other countries to produce because we can’t do everything all by ourselves and we can’t do everything at a time,” Mr. Kareweh noted.
The General Secretary said “we should not attempt everything that we consume in the country. If we want to cover everything we produce in the country at a time we may not be able to do it at all”.
Mr. Kareweh called on the government to take a look at the roads leading to these farms and areas since they are integral parts of the project.
“Road networks must be looked at because road transport is critical to these projects,” he explained.
The GAWU General Secretary said “government must establish processing factories in the areas so that when the processes are done, it reduces the bulky nature of the produce so that it can be transported to the other areas for sale”.
“We should get the agro-processing factories at the places these farms are and that will make it easy for the farmers,” he added.
Mr. Kareweh noted that “out of the thousands of farmers in the country, only 200,000 were selected. 200,000 farmers selected is just a small farming members and if our members are selected, they will make their input”.
He said “the number makes it no more a voluntary one because if you go the district and they tell you there is no space in that district, you can’t do anything”.
The GAWU man said “we have to proceed on the ticket of harvesting water, storing and use it anytime we want and with this, ‘if the one-district-one-dam’ is constructed, it will help produce water for the three northern regions”.
Mr. Kareweh also called on government to look at the “marketing which is critical for such a project. They are now going to build warehouses and I don’t know when they are going to build them”.
By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM|3news.com|Ghana