PFJ 2.0 Aims to Reach Over 2 Million Farmers as Registration Officially Opens

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PFJ 2.0 Aims to Reach Over 2 Million Farmers as Registration Officially Opens

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PFJ 2.0 Aims to Reach Over 2 Million Farmers as Registration Officially Opens

PFJ 2.0 Aims to Reach Over 2 Million Farmers as Registration Officially Opens

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has commenced farmer registration for the Planting for Food and Jobs phase two (PFJ 2.0) programme, aiming to reach over 2 million farmers this year.

During a press briefing in Accra, Dr. Bryan Acheampong, the sector minister, highlighted that the programme seeks to modernise agriculture by concentrating on specific agricultural value chains, particularly major food staples, with the involvement of the private sector.

“The PFJ 2.0 takes a holistic view of the value chain approach by strengthening linkages among actors along selected agricultural commodity value chains and improving service delivery to maximise impact. A significant difference between PFJ 2.0 and the initial programme is the substitution of direct input subsidy with a smart agricultural financial support system in the form of a zero-interest input credit system, where payment will be in-kind,” the minister explained.

The minister highlighted key areas of focus for the programme, such as addressing the annual poultry demand of 324,000 tonnes and a rice production deficit of nearly 50 percent compared to domestic consumption. Importing these products, which the country has the capacity to produce, adds to the continuous depreciation of the cedi.

How to register?

To register as a farmer or company under PFJ 2.0, certain basic requirements must be met, including access to land, citizenship, possession of a valid Ghana Card, and engagement in or readiness to farm prioritised commodities under the programme. Companies must also be officially registered. Registration involves creating a profile and measuring the farm by capturing its polygons.

Farmer registration for PFJ 2.0 will be conducted across all sixteen regions and 261 districts. To facilitate this process, a mobile and web application platform, the Ghana Agriculture and Agribusiness Platform (GhAAP), has been developed. Additionally, Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) and other technical officers have been trained on how to use the platform and provided with tablets for data capturing.

The phase two, which builds on the success of the first phase, has six main objectives – including ensuring food availability, reducing food price inflation, promoting import substitution, encouraging exports, creating jobs and ensuring food security, price stability and resilience.

The second phase comprises five strategic elements, such as a zero-interest credit system for inputs, provision of storage infrastructure, off-take arrangements and a digitised platform for tracking the programme.

Originally launched in 2017, the PFJ initiative aimed to enhance agricultural development, food security, productivity and job creation, particularly for the youth. Despite notable successes, implementation challenges prompted a review. To address these, Dr. Bryan engaged in consultative meetings with stakeholders to explore new pathways for the food and agricultural sector, considering challenges like climate change and post-harvest losses.

The new strategy, PFJ 2.0, seeks to support the entire agricultural value chain and encourage private-sector participation in targeted commodities, thereby fostering economic development and resilience against challenges, particularly food insecurity.

“I would like to emphasise that the PFJ 2.0 programme is a carefully thought-through initiative designed to build on the successes of the initial programme while addressing its limitations. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture is committed to ensuring the successful implementation of this transformative approach to empower our farmers, enhance productivity, and foster sustainable agricultural development in Ghana,” Dr. Acheampong concluded.

Source: Thebftonline

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