An estimated 750,000 jobs are expected to be created when government rolls out its “Planting for Food and Jobs” campaign this year.
The campaign, which is structured along the lines of the previous “Operation Feed Yourself” (OFY) programme in the 1970s, is aimed at achieving food security and profitability for farmers.
Presenting the maiden budget statement to Parliament Thursday, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta said the campaign is also designed to encourage citizens to take up farming as a full or part-time activity.
The campaign, according to Mr Ofori-Atta will be anchored on five pillars, namely: provision of improved seeds; supply of fertilizers; provision of dedicated extension services; marketing and E-Agriculture and Monitoring.
According to him, the initiative is expected to increase the production of maize by 30 per cent from its current production levels, rice by 49 per cent, soybean by 25 per cent and sorghum by 28 per cent.
“This will create 750,000 jobs in both direct and indirect employment,” he said.
Among other things outlined to improve the agriculture sector, Mr Ofori-Atta noted that government would import improved seeds to augment shortfalls as a result of the roll out of the “Planting for Food and Jobs” campaign.
He further added that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning would continue the Fertilizer Subsidy Programme to help increase the productivity of farmers.
“To this effect, we intend to distribute nationwide, an expected 180 thousand metric tonnes of subsidized fertilizer,” he said.