Businessman, Dr Kofi Amoah says governments Planting for Food and Jobs policy despite its relative success cannot be said to be massive and transformative enough.
Describing Ghana’s economic prospects as looking bleak, Dr Amoah, appearing as a guest on Citi TV’s Point of View monitored by GhanaWeb, said the policy may have chalked some successes in the exportation of produce to neighbouring countries, however, with the prospects the agriculture sector holds in transforming the economy, the policy cannot be seen to be transformative enough.
“There are some little lights at the little tunnels that we have. In food, through the Planting for Food and Jobs, we are exporting some food to Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. It’s not bad, but in my estimation, it’s not enough. It’s not massive enough, it’s not transformative like cocoa where you are getting billions and you have the cocoa industry creating small companies, family farms and all of that so that they can pay their children’s school fees,” he stated.
According to Dr Amoah, the Planting for Food and Jobs policy lacked proper planning which would have ensured the policy attained its full potential within the agriculture sector and to a large extent the economy.
“When I went to China, you are driving out of Beijing and all of a sudden you come to [a] place where there are houses but there is nobody there. They plan before they move the people in there. So if you are going to do the Planting for Food and Jobs… I would think that we are going to turn what, 10,000 hectares to housing so that there will be housing for workers. There will be clinics for workers when they get sick, there will be schools there for the children of the workers. So it is an approach of the realization that I have a certain asset; land and people. That I am now going to massively use to produce for domestic consumption and for export, and also to fill my factories,” Dr Amoah said.
He further averred that the ripple effects of proper planning of such a policy and the economy would thus be the “creation of a chain of jobs and opportunities that bring your young people; those who are educated and those who are not educated.”
The Planting for Food and Jobs is a flagship agricultural campaign of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government implemented in its first term, with five (5) implementation modules. The first module PFJ (Crops) aims to promote food security and immediate availability of selected food crops on the market and also provide jobs.