General News of Tuesday, 4 June 2019
President Akufo-Addo says his administration intends to create one million additional jobs in Ghana’s agriculture sector to boost food production.
Addressing the Ghanaian community in Toronto, Canada, at a Town hall meeting held at the Ghanaian Presbyterian Church, near Brampton in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) on Sunday, the President outlined measures that he had put in place to ensure the growth of Ghana’s economy since assuming office in 2017.
The government has given 50 per cent subsidies on fertilisers to all farmers as part of measures to boost the agriculture sector.
He said the ‘planting for food and jobs’ programme, which was initially projected to employ 500,000 farmers in its first year of implementation, 750,000 farmers in the second year and a million by the year 2020 has been over-subscribed, adding that “the programme has been so successful that already we are targeting one million farmers this year  as part of the ‘planting for food and jobs’ programme.”
According to him, “This means that for the first time, we are having significant, abundant harvest; we are now beginning to see a stabilization of basic foodstuffs like maize. This year there has been no increase in the price of maize even during the dry season where usually prices.”
“Instead the prices have gone down. Last year, for the first time for many years we actually exported foodstuffs to Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso instead of importing it,” he said to a rapturous applause from the gathering.
He seized the opportunity to announce the ‘rearing for food and jobs’ programme, which is expected to be launched on June 24, 2019 in Wa, the Upper West Region.
President Akufo-Addo also revealed government’s plans to build not less than 21 technical and vocational education training institutes (TVET) this year to equip young people with skills.
While he admitted that there were challenges in the country’s educational sector, he mentioned that “we have taken some very important decisions that, for instance, from kindergarten to Class Six, a new curriculum is going to be unveiled in September; a curriculum that is going to focus on the basic matters, arithmetic, writing and history.”
In the near future, he said similar reforms would be undertaken at the tertiary level to enable Ghanaian students to compete with their peers across the world.
The President said his administration has made significant improvements in the health delivery system where the crippling GH¢1.2 billion debt inherited from the previous Mahama administration under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was cleared to ensure sustainable support for the NHIS and ultimately develop a universal healthcare in Ghana.