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‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ to begin with GHc 560m cost

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government’s flagship agriculture policy, “Planting for Food and Jobs” will begin with a cost GHc 560 million.

This is according to the Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who said 200,000 farmers have already been recruited for the exercise which is expected to take off in March 2017, ahead of the new farming season.

Dr. Afriyie Akoto announced this policy at the annual New Year School and Conference of the University of Ghana earlier in 2017 and speaking to Citi News, he said a lot more farmers will be roped into the programme as it develops. GHc 1.3 bn to be generated for farmers He said the policy was “going to generate GHc 1.3 billion for the participating farmers and also create 750,000 jobs and this is involving maize, rice, soya, sorghum and vegetable [cultivation] for the first year.” “In 2018, we are going to expand this.

Don’t forget we have five million farmers and fishermen in this country. We have started with 200,000 as a pilot and in 2018, we are going to expand this program considerably to involve nearly a million farmers.” Dr. Afriyie Akoto has said the “Planting for Food and Jobs” campaign is designed to encourage citizens, both urban and rural, to take up farming as a full time and part time activity.

It has been structured along the lines of the “Operation Feed Yourself” programme from the 1970s. The Operation Feed Yourself campaign was launched in 1972 to make Ghana self-sufficient in food supply though it encountered significant shortcomings. But the government, however, believes the objectives of the Operation Feed Yourself campaign will be revived through the new campaign.

Though the “Planting for Food and Jobs” pilot only involves the cultivation of rice, soya beans, sorghum and vegetables, other crops will be adopted in subsequent years.




Minerals Commission predicts 3% increase in gold production

The Minerals Commission is projecting an increase of about 3% in gold production by the second quarter of this year.

The commission attributes this to the uncertainties of the policy direction exhibited by the U.S President, Donald Trump– which is expected to positively impact gold prices.

“There is a certain level of bullishness in the gold price which is good for Ghana as a key producer of gold. This is driven largely by several factors of uncertainties largely by the U.S. There is a certain level of uncertainty about the policy direction of President Trump,” Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn said.

“We expect Gold production to go up slightly and other minerals will also go up. Bauxite and Manganese will go up slightly. Gold might go up by may be 2 or 3% in terms of production,” he added.

Gold prices have seen a drop since 2010, but have seen gradual improvement since last year.

Some market watchers have forecasted gold prices a to average $1,245 an ounce this year and $1,303 an ounce in 2018.

Dr. Aubynn maintained that any increase will be a positive development for Ghana since it will translate into an increase in revenue.

“The price as it is now it is not what it was may be in 2012 but we are better off now than what it was in 2014. I have a very positive outlook for the first and second quarter,” he said.






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