Agriculture Minister Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the resources allocated to the sector during the five years of President Akufo-Addo’s government surpass any other government since independence.
“In fact, I would say that the amount of resources allocated to the agricultural sector over the past five years is so high that if you compare it to the resources that have been allocated to the sector in the past since no government has spent so much public resources resources for agricultural development, ”he said.
Dr Akoto said it was therefore not surprising that the results were known to all, adding that the country has become a food basket for West Africa that countries around Ghana come to buy.
The minister who said this at Gbewa Palace to launch his tour of the five northern regions said that the contributions of the Northern Region to this trade are important for the region and the development of farmers.
He said there are several programs designed specifically for the savannah zone, citing the Savannah Zone Agricultural Productivity Improvement Project (SAPIP) as one of them.
“It is only in its fourth year of implementation and we have a lot of hope that it will develop agriculture and absorb the many unemployed young people you mentioned,” added the Minister.
He said the ministry is also implementing the Savannah Investment Program (SIP) which is only for the animal sector.
“We have requested a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to stimulate livestock production in certain regions, including the northern region, this project is only two years old and is already having an impact on farmers”, Dr Akoto said.
According to him, more dams will be built as part of the one village, one dam policy and the region will benefit more from the construction of dams.
He added that the government will also build more warehouses in the country and the northern region will benefit when they start in addition to the existing eight.
Dr Akoto said the University of Development Studies (UDS) and the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute were leading research on quality seeds for farmers.
King of Dagbon Yaa-Naa Abukari II said the largest percentage of arable land in the region is left derelict despite numerous government interventions in the agricultural sector.
He said Dagbon is still riddled with unemployment despite the interventions. He therefore appealed to the Minister to channel the intervention towards the region, considering that it will be a germ of attraction of young people to the agricultural sector.
Yaa-Naa Abukari II praised the government for its fertilizer subsidy policy which he said has improved agriculture in the region, but called on the minister to work hard to ensure he eliminates delays in his supply.
He congratulated this year’s top national farmer, from Mion district of the Northern region, and called on young people in Dagbon and Ghana to view his victory as motivation to venture into the agricultural sector.
Yaa-Naa Abubakari praised the minister for his contribution to the growth of the agricultural sector, adding that his appointment was on merit due to his hard work.