MoFA to utilise digital tools to ensure effective implementation of PFJ II

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Ministry of Food and Agriculture, MOFA

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) says it will utilise digital tools to ensure effective implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs Phase Two (PFJ II). 

Ministry of Food and Agriculture, MOFAAs part of a comprehensive digitalisation effort, the Ministry will deploy satellite to track the farming activities of farmers who enroll on the programme.

This will enable the Ministry to effectively monitor and evaluate the progress of the farmers for necessary intervention measures to be taken to help the farmers achieve higher yield.

Mr Bagbara Tanko, Public Relations Officer, MoFA, disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.

He said: “We will deploy satellite surveillance which on daily basis will capture your farm twice. We will know whatever activity you are doing on your farm, whether you have planted, whether the crops have germinated, and so on.

“It will also ensure transparency in our dealings with the farmer. A farmer will know we have an eye on him. So, he cannot deceive us. Let me say maybe after harvesting then you say the farm got burnt and we will not be able to recover our investment. That will not happen because we are with you every day on the farm.”

Also, under the Ministry’s digitalisation for effective monitoring and evaluation, farmers who want to enroll on PFJ II are registered through an online platform called the Ghana Agriculture and Agribusiness Platform (GhAAP).

Mr Tanko said registration of farmers had started in the various districts across all 16 Regions in the country.

He added that: “The process is going on smoothly. So far, the feedback is very positive. The farmers are even in a hurry to get registered quickly.

“Farmers so far are meeting the requirements: They have their land, they are able to indicate the type of crop they want to cultivate, and they have their Ghana Card.”

He emphasised that, “the registration process is free, no farmer has to pay to get registered.”

Mr Tanko indicated that, there were Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) in all the districts, with each having an assigned area of operation, adding that, interested farmers must contact an AEA to register.

He said the registration also involved taking polygon map, that is, taking the farm’s measurement and location and uploading it onto the online platform.

He said the farmer must be physically present on the farm for the mapping to be done.

“Those who do not have plans to farm this season can still register so that they can easily participate in the next season,” Mr Tanko noted.

He said GhAAP would also be used for distribution of farm inputs and delivery of extension services.

He added: “The platform also has a marketing structure in it. For instance, if you are a market woman and you want 1,000 bags of maize to buy, you just go there and register. And we see that we have someone who needs 1,000 bags of maize over there. So they will contact you, you pay at the bank, pick your receipt, go to the warehouse and you get your products.”

“PFJ II will operate on a smart input credit system. You don’t need money to start. Government is not going to subsidise inputs, but we will make sure you get all that you need to start your farm. And when you harvest, you pay in kind worth the input you took, and you still make your profit as a farmer. Through that, we will also create a National Strategic Stock.”

The PFJ II is a five-year strategic plan which starts this year 2024 and will end in 2028.

There are yearly targets to be met on each of the 11 prioritised agricultural commodities until 2028 where self-sufficiency is expected to be achieved.

By Paul Eduarko Richardson

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