Agric Minister

Government spent over GH¢1 billion to import fertlisers under its flagship Planting for Food and Job project last year, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has disclosed.

This, he stated, is an attestation of the government’s commitment towards the development of agriculture across the country.

Dr Akoto made the disclosure while addressing farmers, inputs dealers, regional agriculture directors, district agricultural directors at Ahinsan in the Ashanti Region last Thursday as part of his regional tour.

It was in reaction to calls by especially the farmers on the government to reduce prices of fertilisers.

He said the government in its quest to make farmers richer has subsidised fertilisers in particular, by 40% stating “… this means the farmer has extra money for savings.”

At the Amanfrom Prison, the Commandant, ADP Francis M. Yelpuo, said the prison has a total of 40 acres of oil palm plantation which gives a year-round harvest.

He said the facility has a 45-sow piggery with current total of 373 pigs, offering comprehensive practical training to inmates and officers.

He also said the prison could boast of 73 sheep and 59 rabbits in addition to a two-acre vegetable farm.

He continued that the prison can also boast of a 40-acre maize farm and 10-acre swamp land, the multiplication of taro suckers for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) for onward distribution to farmers.

The commandant appealed to the minister for a 3,000L polytank and nipple drinkers to improve the health of the animals.

But Dr Akoto entreated the command to concentrate on projects they can commercialise to resource others.

“I can’t promise you free tractors but I can offer you one with 40% reduction and that’s what we can do,” he added.

Later, the Agric Minister called on the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Manhyia Palace.

At the Manhyia Palace, Otumfou Osei Tutu II, acknowledged the efforts of the government in raising the level of agriculture in the country, particularly in the Ashanti Region.

He pledged his support to sustain the gains made in the agriculture sector.