The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Owusu  Afriyie Akoto says assertions by some members of the public about food shortage in the country is false.

According to him, the farming  season was good, contrary to false information about shortage of food by some Ghanaians, and explained that the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme by His Excellency President Akufo-Addo had led to production of excess food in the country, thereby making Ghana the food basket of West Africa.

Hon. Akoto said this in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital when he met staff of the Department of Food and Agriculture, and some Municipal and District Chief Executives as part of  his tour of the Region for first hand information on the just ended farming season.

The Minister said there were huge economic opportunities for women due to the excess food production and processing which created jobs and incomes for them.

He said as a result of the food stuff surplus, the Ministry would consider the formulation of a special programme for women to venture into value chain processing, and called on the Regional Directors of Agriculture to provide adequate data for the realisation of the programme.

According to the Minister, in 2016, only 2,200 metric tons of improved seeds were  distributed  to farmers, however in 2020, about 40,000 metric tons of improved seeds were distributed.

He said the Ministry was working to attract potential investors to the Fumbisi Rice Valley which had the capacity to grow over 30,000 hectares of rice to meet the domestic needs of the citizenry within and outside the country.

Hon. Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, heaped praises of the Sector Minister for positively transforming the Agriculture sector within a short period.

He said the relentless efforts of Hon. Akoto revived the Tono Irrigation Dam in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality which was at the verge of collapse, and indicated that the Minister was committed to have the Vea Dam in the Bongo District fully rehabilitated.

The Regional Minister assured Hon Akoto of the fullest support of Municipal and District Chief Executives, and experts in the Agricultural sector across the Region.

He added that the Region was poised to produce quality tomatoes next year to change the narrative where market Queens bought tomatoes from neighbouring Burkina Faso.

The Region would further work to prevent the smuggling of fertilizers outside the country through its borders, Hon. Yakubu assured.

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