The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) says it is working assiduously to ensure the protection of wetlands in the Ashanti Region.
This was to help increase local rice and vegetable production, which thrived on such land resources, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the sector Minister, assured.
He said the government would not derail in its vision to giving the requisite technical support and incentives to Ghanaian farmers to succeed, thereby building their capacity for improved yield.
When this was done, according to the Minister, then the country would be in the position to reduce to the barest minimum the importation of food crops while also creating jobs along the agricultural value chain.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto was interacting with stakeholders in Kumasi, an event that formed part of his working visit to the Region.
The visit was designed to enable the Minister to acquaint himself with the progress of agricultural projects and programs such as the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs, and other modules introduced by the government to foster food security and sufficiency in the country.
According to the Regional MoFA Directorate, a substantial portion of wetlands in Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest capital city, designated as agricultural buffer zones, were being encroached by estate developers.
It warns that the earlier such practices were nipped in the bud, the better it would be for the government as it seeks to transform agriculture positively.
Any form of activity on the low lands that had the potential to thwart the aims and objectives of the MoFA must be outlawed, the Directorate argued.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto said the investment being made by the government, including the provision of farm implements, crop seedlings, extension services, greenhouse farming initiatives, capacity-building for agricultural students, and exchange programs to Israel aimed to benefit the nation in the long term.
This was necessary given the huge contribution of agriculture to the socio-economic development of the nation, he stated.
The Reverend John Manu, the Regional Director of MoFA, said the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ Programme had been progressing in the Region as the citizenry patronized it.
The Directorate, he said, would continue to offer the needed help to farmers to improve their activities and livelihood.