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Approve MOFA budget - Committee on Agric makes recommendation to Parliament

By: By Ama Amankwah Baafi

THE Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs has recommended parliamentary approval of GH¢965,131,569 to support the activities of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the 2020 financial year.

The allocated amount, which falls short of  GH¢2 million over that of 2019’s figure of GH¢967,845,075, constitutes GH¢350,946,937 from government, GH¢384,640,448 from donor contributions, ????GH¢225,978??? from the Annual Budget Funding Allocation (ABFA) and GH¢3,566,183 from internally generated fund (IGF).

A report by the committee said the recommendation came after it had thoroughly examined the budget estimates of MOFA for this year and was satisfied that the policies and programmes outlined for the year would go a long way to ensure adequate growth in agriculture.

Agribusiness devt programme
The report said that in order to continue strengthening agribusinesses, greenhouse facilities that had been developed would train 240 youth in greenhouse production technology in 2020.

The MOFA continued the development and promotion of greenhouse villages that started in Dawhenya in 2017 by establishing a second greenhouse village with a commercial production unit and a training centre at Akomadan in the Ashanti Region.

A third facility at Bawjiase in the Central Region is 90 per cent complete and will be ready for operations soon.

A total of 238 graduates made up of 168 males and 70 females received training at the greenhouse technology at the Dawhenya Training Centre. The first batch of 51 graduate youth trained in Israel returned home in September 2019 and a second batch of 71 youth is currently receiving similar training in Israel.

The report said the trainees were expected to establish and run their own greenhouse vegetable production businesses.

Again, to facilitate the transportation of agricultural produce from farm gates to markets and reduce post-harvest losses, MOFA started the construction and rehabilitation of 72km feeder roads and farm tracks in 20 communities in the Greater Accra, Central, Ashanti, Volta and Bono East regions under the Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Project (GASIP).

The reports stated that MOFA would deliver its agenda in the year 2020 through the flagship initiative of Planting for Food and Jobs under five modules, namely Food Crop Production, Planting for Export and Rural development, Rearing for Food and Jobs, Greenhouse Technology Development and Mechanisation for Food and Jobs.