Politics

Where is the maize?’ Minority quizzes government on PFJ promises

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The Minority in Parliament has asked government to enumerate the achievements of its flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs.

The NDC MPs are of the view that the programme has failed to achieve anything substantial, despite the huge monies pumped into it.

In a press statement issued on Wednesday, August 30, and signed by its Deputy Ranking on the Agriculture Committee in Parliament, Dr Godfred Seidu Jasaw, said food prices are rather high despite the implementation of the programme.

According to Dr Jasaw, the government cannot for the so-called increased production figures despite the six-year implementation of the PFJ.

“After six (6) years of implementation of the PFJ programme, we still cannot account for the so-called increased production figures that are being reported by the Minister for Agriculture. Where is the maize? Where is the rice? Where are the Soybeans?”

“All other things being equal, we expect to have a glut in the system, and that should drive down prices. On the contrary, food produce is scarce and prices are skyrocketing,” excerpts of the statement said.

The Minority has thus described phase 2 of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PJF) Programme as a scam.

According to the NDC MPs, it is an avenue deliberately crafted to loot the limited resources of the state.

 

“The president launched Planting for Food and Jobs Phase 2 in Tamale two days ago. This was after the minister responsible for finance informed us through his midyear budget to Parliament in July 2023 that the planting for food and jobs (PFJ) program had ended since December 2022.”

“This is a clear admission of our position that the PFJ program had failed and that it was a mere state resource looting platform disguised as a flagship program,” the statement added.

Their comments follow the recently launched second phase of the program by President Akufo-Addo.

The President during the launch said it would create an annual average of two hundred and ten thousand (210,000) new farm-related jobs.

 

The new phase according to the president will exclude other jobs along the agricultural value chains.

“The impact of the Programme is expected to be in the area of job creation, with some 1.2 million farmers to be enrolled in the first year. In the next four years, the Programme is destined to record an annual average of 210,000 new farm-related jobs.

“This will exclude other jobs along the agricultural value chains estimated at an annual average of 420,000 over the same period,” President Akufo-Addo assured.

He indicated that the 2nd phase of the Programme also seeks to improve service delivery to maximise impact.

“The second phase, by design, takes a holistic view and places greater emphasis on value chain approaches by focusing on strengthening linkages between actors along eleven selected agricultural commodity value chains broadly categorised into grains, roots and tuber, vegetables and poultry.

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