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Peter Ayinbisa explains how COVID-19 affected Rearing for Food and Jobs programme

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The Upper East Regional Director of Communication for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Peter Ayinbisa, has admitted that the Rearing Food and Jobs programme may not be living up to expectations. 

He however contends that it is still relatively new and that with time, the programme could realise its full potential. 

He said this when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today.

“Maybe we are not getting the benefits as we expect, but of course it gives farmers motivation. It encourages them and gives them some technical knowledge to know that it is also possible to rear animals in this part of the country. It is possible for us to adopt foreign breeds and be part of what is happening globally. This is quite a new programme. For new programmes, there are usually hitches here and there. Even if you look at the quantities that were given to the farmers, they were very few. It is not enough to determine the success of the programme,” he said. 

But for the interruptions of COVID-19, the results of the programme would have been more significant, according to Mr. Ayinbisa. 

“The farmers were getting used to the programme and were beginning to enjoy the programme, but because of a few challenges here and there, you cannot say it was a hundred percent successful. You cannot deny the fact that there have been some challenges and some learning. One of the challenges we have to do is the feeding, the type of feeding, the regular rate of feeding, the vaccination, and all that.”

“Bear in mind also that in this part of the country we didn’t have the requisite personnel in all this part of the country [but] the government did consider all of these things, and that’s why the government engaged agricultural extension officers. Over 300 of them were recruited to take care of this one, but they cannot man the entire country. You cannot say the success rate has been 100 percent, but there has been success.”

“Covid had an effect on everything. There is nothing that COVID-19 didn’t affect. The ability to move around and the ability to get the right seeds from wherever we were getting them to your location was difficult, and this had to do with the fact that some parts of the country had been locked up. Some factories were not working. Those who produce the feed for the animals were affected,” he said. 

Mr. Ayinbisa again admitted that the inadequate number of birds distributed to the farmers could account for the lack of visible success. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture in the Bolgatanga East District of the Upper East Region received the first supply of 400 cockerels under the government’s Rearing for Food and Jobs programmme in 2019. The birds were distributed to 40 local farmers.

No additional birds have been distributed to the Bolgatanga East District as part of the initiative, which expires in 2023. It also hasn’t received any of the livestock stated under the scheme either.

The programme’s future is also unknown.

This came to light when the District Director of Agriculture in the Bolga East District, Diana Akumanue, spoke to Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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