Government to increase food-crop production- President Mahama

John Dramani MahamaPresident John Dramani Mahama on Friday hinted that government would for the coming years increase investment on the production of rice, sugar, poultry products and tomatoes.

Increasing their production, he added would drastically reduce the importation of those commodities and create sufficient jobs for people that would be engaged in their production.

President Mahama gave this hint when Dr Sipho Moyo, Executive Director of ONE Africa, an agricultural campaign group called on him at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.

The delegation was at the Presidency to inform the President on their campaign activities in the continent and to seek his support to invest massively in the agricultural sector.

ONE Africa campaign project is an advocacy Organisation of 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa by raising awareness on works with political leaders to combat AIDs and other preventable diseases.

They also campaign for increment on investments in agriculture, nutrition and demand greater transparency in poverty fighting programmes.

President Mahama said Ghana had for the past years achieved sufficiency in maize, yam and cassava production and therefore investment in rice, tomato, sugar and poultry to reduce the country’s dependency level was an appropriate step.

He said under the Ghana commercial Agriculture programme, government would identify young people interested in agriculture and support small scale farmer groups with improved seeds and technical assistance to engage fully in agriculture as a business entity.

The president said they would also educate the youth against the notion that farming was for the elderly by creating awareness on the benefits that would be archived through agriculture,

“All other continents have exhausted their farmlands, but Africa is abound with vast fertile lands and we have the opportunity of becoming the food basket of the world if we take advantage of that chance,” the President added.

President Mahama said government was also working with the Alliance on Green Agriculture headed by Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations to increase production of both cash and food crops in the country.

He said there was also the need to step up educational programmes on agriculture and to encourage the farmers to form groups to attract financial support to increase their yields.

Dr Moyo said the world had changed and there was the need for the continent to cater for her needs and avoid the perennial dependency on other continents and countries for their development.

She said Africa’s dependency levels should no longer be on food, poverty and disease, but on technological advancement that would catapult the development and growth.

The Executive Director said they would make use of African celebrities across the continent to drum home the message for African leaders to increase investment on the agricultural sector. GNA

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