Dr Hafiz Bin-Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, has said government supplied 1.5 million bags of fertilizer to farmers in the Region for the 2019 farming season to boost production and guarantee food security.
The fertilizer forms part of government’s commitment to its pro-poor policy, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ).
The Minister said this when the General Manager of Ghana News Agency, Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, called on him at the Regional Coordinating Council to deepen working relationship with the GNA and the RCC.
Dr Bin-Salih stated that farmers in Upper West were benefiting from the PFJ and free SHS policies, an indication that the transformational economic policies of government was impacting positively on lives of ordinary Ghanaians.
“There are a lot of issues happening in the region and I would urge the media to extend their coverage from political appointees to equally important activities to promote development,” he added.
The PFJ programme in 2017 season was characterised by fall armyworm infections coupled with fertilizer smuggling to neighboring Burkina Faso.
But government has instituted robust measures like the supply of agro chemicals to control fall army warm infection and placed a ban on sale of 50-kilogramme bags of fertilizer labelled PFJs to prevent smuggling.
The programme registered about 117,300 farmers for the 2018 season with cultivated land area of 245,000, representing a massive increment over the 2017 season, which recorded about 29,000 farmers with land coverage of about 52,000 acres.
Figures available from the Upper West Regional Agriculture Department revealed that about 95 per cent of debts owned government by the farmers were recovered as at November 2018.
The Region has projected about 200,000 farmers to be captured under the PFJ for this year’s farming season and to that effect, about three warehouses under the One District One Warehouse project located at Bussie in the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa District, Kulkpong and Bulenga both in Wa East district have been completed.
This was done in a public Private partnership with government and Antika maize processing and storage fertility in Wa with four others to be constructed to prevent post-harvest lost.
Dr Bin-Salih said the region was peaceful and urged the media to give positive reportage on the peaceful nature to attract investors.
Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, General Manager of GNA, said the Agency was positioned to report effectively on state events, programmes and activities for national growth.
He said the Agency was committed to its ethical tenets of accuracy and professionalism to report on how government flagship policies like the PFJ and One Village, One Dam policies were impacting on lives of Ghanaian citizenry.
He said the RCC should not hesitate to call on the GNA for coverage of activities of government programmes.