PRESENTATION OF 216 PICKUPS TO THE DISTRICT DEPARTMENTS OF AGRICULTURE BY THE HON. MINISTER FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE, DR. AFRIYIE AKOTO TO FACILITATE EXTENSION SERVICES DELIVERY UNDER THE MAG
The Minister for Food and Agriculture in Ghana, Honorable Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto presenting 216 Nissan pickups to the various District Department of Agriculture in the country. The ceremony for the release of the pickups was held on Monday, June 11, 2018 at the premises of the Agricultural Engineering Services Directorate, Cantonment in Accra.
At the ceremony, the officer in charge of Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) Marie Jeanne Claude revealed that Canada was one of the earliest supporters of Ghana in Agriculture creating bilateral development assistance as early as 1957. She added that over the last decade the Canadian Government has provided substantial support to the agricultural sector and this support continues today through the Modernizing of Agriculture in Ghana programme.
She intimated that given the challenges facing the public extension service particularly during the rainy season, it is important to better resource district department of agriculture with the necessary tools such as pickups and motorbikes to ensure the effective and efficient extension services delivery and smooth operationalization of the MAG programme which seeks to improve the income and productivity of farmers especially women in Ghana. She was particularly pleased with the reactiveness of the district directors of agriculture towards the implementation of the MAG programme.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Hon. Minister commended the Canadian Government for their relentless support towards agriculture in Ghana. Referring to farmer –to- extension ratios he said his Ministry is supposed to have 4400 extension officers however, currently the AEA’s are less than 2000; 1600 to be exact and 80% are going on pension in the next three [to] four years.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto said government’s drive to boost agriculture in the country has necessitated the need to revive the extension services. According to him the “Planting for Food and Jobs” programme is geared towards revamping the agricultural sector by supplying improved seeds, fertilizers, extension services and marketing services.
The vehicles the Minister said will assist District Directors of Agriculture and extension staff undertake monitoring and evaluation of agriculture activities being implemented in their respective operational areas.
The Hon. Minister also disclosed that the ministry is procuring 3000 motorbikes which will be distributed in the next few months as a means of logistically supporting the AEA’s to access remote areas within the various districts.
In his closing remarks he described as timely, the presentation of the vehicles adding that these logistics would help improve agriculture and help meet the target of the “Planting for Food and Jobs” programme.