Benson Tongo Baba, the MP for the Talensi Constituency is wondering why the country would be concerned about imminent food shortages if the government’s flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) was extremely successful.
It would be recalled that in a recent interview on Accra based Citi FM, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the PFJ had been a resounding success describing it as “extremely successful”.
But speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, Tuesday, May 31, Mr. Baba strongly refuted the claims made by the Minister.
“If it has been extremely successful, why are we now thinking about the negative aspect of food shortages hitting the country. Why is it that the Buffer Stock is not having enough foodstuffs to supply our institutions? Anything that you say is successful, it means that, across the various sectors, you will see that that project has satisfied the needs of the people. People are talking about gari jollof. Gari jollof is being given to students. People are talking about eating one-way diets, which have never been our culture; even in our poor homes.”
“I think that he must refocus. Where there are challenges, admit that there are challenges. Where there are successes, give yourself. But to me, to the largest extent, it has not been successful,” he said.
He said the failures of the Minister for Agriculture are evident, even in the Talensi district.
“Ask the agric director if he has a single tractor for supporting agriculture in the constituency. He is depending on us. In fact, on several occasions, he has lauded me for this initiative [setting up an agric mechanisation centre]. There is nothing for the District Director of Agric to prove that the PFJ is a successful venture in Talensi.”
He encouraged the Minister to, instead of talking and praising himself, focus on improving agriculture in the country.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Talensi|Ghana