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Devastating effects of bush fires shouldn’t be taken for granted-Sekyere South DCE admonishes

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Hon. Mrs Catherine Reckling , District Chief Executive for Sekyere South in the Ashanti Region has  reminded  that ,the harmattan season is once more here with us as we approach Christmas and therefore the devastating effects of bush fires should not be taken for granted.
According to her,It is important that we deal decisively with the problems associated with bushfires.
She however cautioned Ghanaians to be  guarded  against the bad practices of improper use of agro chemicals.
In this regard, she  urged all to seek professional advice from the Department of Agriculture before applying chemicals on their various farms.
She  also reminded every  Ghanaian of the forthcoming 2023 District Level Elections scheduled for Tuesday, 19th December,2023 and  appealed  to all to be tolerant of opposing political views.
“Accordingly, we must avoid politics of rancor, intimidation, violence, character assassination, the use of abusive languages and campaign of deliberate lies and rather address issues which would earn us the votes of the electorate.
We must all pledge to conduct a clean campaign devoid of insults and lies and appeal to our supporters to be tolerant of opposing views. This is the beauty of democracy and this would ensure a peaceful and successful District Level Elections in December.”She advised.
The workaholic female politician made these statements in her speech on the occasion of  the 39th National Farmers’ Day Celebration held at Afamanaso ,a farming community in the district on December 1st,2023.
Read Full Speech…….
Today’s program is also about policy makers and implementers, businessmen
along the agricultural value chain, research institutions, and other key actors in the Agricultural Sector.
 We have to build synergies, through the effective collaboration of these stakeholders, in order to succeed in achieving the nation’s
goals in the agricultural sector.
The agenda of transforming agriculture calls for investing our resources in critical areas of the sector, with a view to stimulating growth on a sustainable basis and government is doing everything possible to put agriculture on the path of transformation in our bid to deliver Smart Solutions for Sustainable Food Security and Resilience.
 This is why Government rolled out its flagship programme in 2017 to deliver target solutions to the problems within the agricultural sector.
The broad objectives of Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) were to boost productivity, guarantee food security, produce ample raw materials for sustained industrialization, promote exports, and generate job opportunities, particularly for our teeming youth.
After six years of implementation, there has been notable successes, especially in the area of utilization of fertilizer, acceptance and adoption of improved seeds as well as the adoption of good agronomic practices by farmers leading to increased productivity.
 Our evaluation also reveals that, notwithstanding these achievements,
there is a need for new strategies to optimize returns on investment. This is so because we recognize the urgent need to expand our productive capacity and harness the opportunity to unlock the full potential of the sector.
The outcome is the birth of the second phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative which was out doored by the President in Tamale.
At full implementation, the PFJ 2.0 will certainly change the face of Ghana’s agriculture since it is a five-year master plan for the renewal of agriculture in Ghana.It represents a new trajectory that replaces the input subsidy programme with an input credit intervention designed to accelerate the development of agriculture through a value chain approach.
Besides the input credit system that provides farmers with access to inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, other elements of the programme are support services such as mechanization and extension; storage infrastructure and logistic hub; off-taker arrangements/commodity trading and the last but not the least, a digitized platform fr management, monitoring and coordination.
Let me indicate here that Government has seriously demonstrated its commitment to transform agriculture into an attractive and rewarding venture. Similarly, through the fertilizer subsidy programme the price of fertilizers has reduced and farmers now buy fertilizer without queuing for coupons.
 Additionally,the Root and Tuber Improvement Programme is aimed at enhancing the incomes of farmers as well as ensuring food security and improve the livelihood of the rural community in Ghana.
I wish to encourage as many of our farmers as possible to go into cassava cultivation as there are serious plans to use cassava for industrial purposes very soon. Government’s agenda to diversify the sector is on course.
I wish to assure our hardworking farmers that Government is calling on farmers to grow more food and is also committed to providing all the necessary logistics and support to our farmers to make agriculture more lucrative and attractive.
Indeed, our long-term plan is to produce sustainable agriculture be it on small scale or large scale. This way Ghanaians can meet their food needs now and in future and still have surplus for export.
 This is why Government is committed to
ensuring that research results from our institutions such as the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Crop Research Institute are used to solve agricultural problem.
Source:The Punch Newspaper/Ayisah Foster

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