Government view farmers as stakeholders in national development- Agyenim Boateng

Mr James Agyenim Boateng, Deputy Minister of Information said at the weekend that government’s subsidy on fertilizer and the establishment of agricultural machinery centres, are aimed at encouraging farmers to increase food production.

He said the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) acknowledges the fact that farmers are the major stakeholders in the country’s development agenda.

Addressing a stakeholders’ forum at Nkoranza in the Nkoranza South District of the Brong Ahafo Region as part of a working visit, he said government is working hard to make agriculture attractive enough to motivate farmers to produce more.

He said the campaign promises made by the NDC are “still fresh in our (Government) minds and we are working hard to fulfil them to maintain the trust and confidence of the people”.

Commenting on the one time premium proposed for the National Health Insurance Scheme, the deputy minister gave the assurance that government had put in place the necessary structures to facilitate the process.

Mr Boateng said a financial audit exercise is underway to check all fraudulent deals bedevilling the scheme.

He said the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) is on course as a number of youth are being employed to serve under the various modules.

Mr Boateng advised the youth engaged under the programme to have the vision of pursuing further education, since NYEP is a temporary job opportunity that does not attract social security benefits.

Madam Philippa Banson, District Director of Education, noted that lack of accommodation and means of transport are the major challenges facing teachers in deprived communities and expressed the hope that government would assist the district assemblies to resolve the problem.

She called on the Ghana Education Trust Fund Administrator to provide funds for the construction of a permanent office accommodation for the District Directorate of Education.

Mr Lawrence Ahiadu, District Director of Food and Agriculture commended government for implementing the subsidy on agricultural inputs, saying the policy had addressed problems that characterised the fertilizer coupon system.

He said his outfit is making efforts to cultivate 800 acres of maize in selected communities in the district, which would be managed by the youth.

Mr Smart Tommy Jones, District Co-ordinator of NYEP said about 119 youth had been engaged in the Zoomlion project and are serving in nine selected zonal centres in the district.

Zoomlion is a sanitary management organisation, which has deployed personnel throughout the country.

Mr Jones said about 300 people have also been engaged in afforestation programmes under NYEP while 32 people are also learning trades and vocations to become self-employed.

Source: GNA

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