The government’s Planting for Food and Jobs (PfJ) Programme has engaged 639,751 people in the Ashanti Region over the last four years.
The Reverend John Manu, Ashanti Regional Director of Agriculture, said 20,459 benefitted from the Programme in 2017, while 133,152 profited in 2018 and 267,605 in 2019.
As of August 31, 2020, there were 218,535 people engaged on the programme, he added.
Rev. Manu, who disclosed this at a presentation ceremony at Adaase in the Obuasi Municipality of Ashanti, said of the figure 477,702 were males while 162, 049 were females.
According to the Regional Director, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) exceeded its targets and encouraged the people, especially the youth, to avail themselves of the Programme.
At the ceremony, AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Limited presented Wellington boots, goggles, nose masks, a desktop computer and motorbike and hand gloves and reflective vests to the Municipal Office of MoFA.
The items were presented by the mining company under its ‘Obuasi Goes Agro (OGA) Programme,’ which is to help diversify and grow the local economy of Obuasi through agricultural development.
The Programme has currently engaged 90 community members on the farms with 150 acres of maize cultivated in the pilot phase.
Also, the farmers cultivated 20 acres of vegetables in the pilot phase.
Rev. Manu welcomed the government’s commitment to investing in agriculture since about 52 per cent of the country’s labour force was employed under the sector.
Mr Emmanuel Baidoo, Senior Manager, in charge of Sustainability, AGA, said the company made a total commitment of $620,000 towards the AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Agribusiness Programme. Of the amount, $417,000 was earmarked for the OGA Programme.
Mr Baidoo said the programme currently consisted of cereal and vegetables out-grower projects. The target was to cultivate at least 200 farm households at Obuasi by 2021, he said.