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The government has secured over 60,000 hectares of land for the establishment of agricultural zones in the Eastern, Ashanti, Upper West, Northern and North East regions.
This is a start-up activity to roll out the second phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who made this known in his keynote address at the 39th National Farmers Day Awards Night held at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) at Tarkwa in the Western Region last Friday, said in 2024, government would complete the development of 50,000 hectares of land in land valleys to expand the areas under rice, soya and maize cultivation.
Additionally, he said work had begun on the development of 7,100 hectares of irrigated infrastructure in economic enclaves within the agriculture zones.
“We have set ourselves ambitious but achievable targets every year of the five-year period of the programme (PFJ 2.0).
For example, we expect to increase our self-sufficiency in rice from the current level of 48 per cent in 2022 to 72 per cent by 2025 and 106 per cent by 2028.
Poultry will be increased from five per cent in 2022 to 22 per cent by 2025 and 111 per cent by 2028.
The awards ceremony saw Charity Akortia from the Agona West Municipality in the Central Region being adjudged the Overall National Best Farmer for 2023.
Theophilus Ezenrane Ackah, from the Western Region, was the first runner-up, followed by Kwaku Yeboah Asumah.
National Farmers Day
Dr Bawumia said the National Farmers Day had a lot of significance, hence its observance as a public holiday.
“We have doubled agriculture growth, notwithstanding, so we must be doing something right,” he said and added that “so we doubled the growth rate in the agriculture sector that we came to meet”.
Dr Bawumia said the significant increase in the growth rate in the agriculture sector enhanced food security, increased job opportunities across the agriculture value chain and supported emerging industries with raw materials, among others.