The government of Ghana plans to reduce food and nutrition insecurity through modernized agriculture and other measures.
The minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, said this when he presented the 2015 budget statement to Parliament here on Wednesday.
?? The minister said the measure formed part of the government?s food security and emergency preparedness program that also involved the management of national strategic stocks for emergencies and the establishment of effective early warning systems.
? ?Terkper said, to reduce post-harvest losses, government collaborated with the private sector to increase the national food buffer stock centres from seven (7) to ten (10) in 2014.
?? ?The ministry facilitated the establishment of two new warehouses with a capacity of 100,000mt each, while the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) purchased and stored a total of 3,317.40mt of locally-milled rice which was supplied to the school Feeding Program.
?? ?To improve access to mechanized agriculture services, a total of 89 AMSECs which consist of tractors and implements, maize shellers and water pumps, have been established in 62 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
?This has enabled 267,500 small holder farmers access to mechanized services on time, resulting in the cultivation of about 107,000ha of maize, rice and soya beans this year.?
??? In a bid to forestall post-harvest losses, Terkper said 40 hectares of primary materials of cassava and five hectares of yam mini-set technology of newly released varieties out of a target of 160 hectares were established.
?? ?Even though the area cultivated fell below the target, it led to a marginal increase in yield from 16.78mt/ha to 16.83mt/ha and 18.27mt/ha to 19.13mt/ha for yam and cassava respectively.?
?? The remaining 115 hectares of cassava and yam planting materials, he said, would be established in 2015, adding that this was expected to increase yield as well as enhance farm level productivity from 19.13mt/ha to20.01mt/ha for cassava and 16.83mt/ha to 17.21mt/ha for yam.
?? The minister said in 2015 additional 41 AMSECs were targeted to be established, bringing the total to 130.
?? The ministry will also carry out training programs to improve technical skills and competence of managers and machine operators to avert premature and frequent break down of these equipment.
?? Touching on fisheries, Terkper said, to enforce Fisheries Laws and Regulations on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, 79 fishing vessels were fitted with Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS).
?? ?Since July, this year, the VMS aided the arrest of 14 vessels that were prosecuted for their involvement in IUU fishing activities.
?? ?In addition, over 1,000 illegal fishing nets and 300 generators and accessories were confiscated by the Fisheries Enforcement Unit,? he said.
?? The ministry, Terkper said, would continue to undertake these monitoring activities to reduce the incidence of illegal fishing activities on Ghana?s waters.
Find?Budget statement Below
Source:? Budget statement