3 months after the lifting of the ban on forest products, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Food Security has generated 400 million Leones.
Speaking to Awoko Wednesday, the Permanent Secretary Augustine S. Sheku maintained that a number of strategies had been mapped out to add value to agricultural productivity in the country through commercialization, intensification of agricultural productivity, research and extension services and cross cutting issues.
As part of the Ministry’s vision in ensuring systematic management of resources, they have generated 400 million leones from the proceeds of forest resources after the lifting of ban on forest product some 3 months ago.
He added that within the next couple of months more would be realized.
“Effective and efficient management of resources is one of the main strategies the Ministry has employed to reform some agricultural institutions in order to increase productivity” he pointed out. He added that 14 boli land had been identified and cultivated for the production of ‘nerica rice’ three times every year.He further confirmed that 73,000 bushel of rice had beenbought and distributed among farmers with the aim of increasing productivity and to establish seed banks all over the country.
In the area of research and extension services he said is to under take extensive research on the traditional farming method with the aim of modernizing it by educating farmers to improve on their farming skills to increase productivity.
He stated that the marketing strategy would form part of the reform strategy so that farmers would be empowered to determine their own prices and hence maintain a better standard of living, noting that, they are now moving from subsistence to diversification and from there they would head for specialized farming system that would enable them to establish ‘agro based industries’ where some form of processing would be done to add value to farm products.
This he said would be followed by a cross cutting issue, to generate employment for youths by giving more input into agriculture so as to encourage the labour force to take to agriculture for self employment.
As a way of enhancing transparency and accountability, the Ministry has begun an appraisal exercise on some 12 projects through out the country to assess to impact made in a year’s time.
The permanent secretary stated that after the appraisal, if any project is not properly executed to meet its expected output the project would be terminated.