K. Amoh/Godfred A. Polkuu, GNA
Bolgatanga, July 13, GNA – Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari, Upper East Regional Minister on Friday handed over 13 brand new Nissan Pickups to Municipal and District Directors of Agriculture to support government flagship programme “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJ).
The vehicles would facilitate the transportation needs for the project areas which are mainly on farms and remote from the offices of Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) at the district level as supervisors including; the Directors, extension officers among other key agriculture experts are expected to rapidly respond to emergency calls by farmers.
At a brief ceremony to handover the vehicles, Mr Bukari said the fleet of vehicles were part of the 216 secured by the government of Ghana through the Canadian government to cushion the modernisation of Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme for distribution to all Metropolitan, Municipal and District offices of agriculture to help solve the transportation needs of implementers of the PFJ programme.
“Let me emphasise that the vehicles are meant for the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme and should be used as such,” he warned.
Mr Bukari said a monitoring team would be in place to occasionally check on the use of the vehicles, and indicated that any activity outside the programme would attract punishment. “Municipal and District Directors of Agriculture should ensure that the vehicles were packed at their respective offices after close of work and weekends,” he added.
The Minister said “the PFJ campaign have come to stay, and we are upbeat about its prospects to guarantee food security, income and support industrial growth in Ghana. Aside the vehicles, government will soon post 3,000 new extension officers across the country and provide them with motor bikes”.
Mr Francis Ennor, the Upper East Regional Director of Agriculture said the government of Ghana secured $125 million from the Canadian Government to support agricultural development in the country, including extension services support, Monitoring and Evaluation, and research as well as the acquisition of the 216 pickups.
He said the 216 vehicles were meant for all districts except the newly created ones, and expressed gratitude to government for the foresight in expanding the agriculture sector to ensure food security under the PFJ initiative.
Mr Ennor advised the Directors to develop the culture of maintenance and ensure that the vehicles performed effectively to make the programme successful in the region.