Mr Daniel Teye Akuffo, the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Shai Osudoku, has lamented the rate at which real estate developers are grabbing greenbelt lands earmarked for agriculture purposes.
The issue, he said, needed policy intervention by the government with support from the chiefs and opinion leaders in the District to preserve the greenbelt for its intended purposes.
He said if care was not taken the future of agriculture would be bleak due to the practice.
Mr Akuffo said this during the 36th National Farmers Day at Kadjanya in the Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region.
It was on the theme: “Ensuring Agribusiness Development under Covid-19: Challenges and Opportunities.”
Mr Akuffo said data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation indicated that over 78 per cent of the world food needs were met by small scale farmers.
For this reason, he said, investing in agriculture was one of the most effective strategies of modelling a resilient economy by ensuring food security and employment.
He said lessons should be learnt from the droughts in 1982 to 1983, coupled with the devastating effects of bushfires in 1984, which reduced agricultural yield drastically, resulting in famine.
“This is enough reason for us as a nation or district to refocus our energies on formulating better agricultural policies,” he said.
“It is, therefore, noteworthy to commend the visionary leadership and good policies of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo for launching a number of unprecedented agricultural sector support initiatives aimed at modernising agriculture and creating gainful employment for the citizens.”
He said the strategic location of the District, which had the benefit of the Kpong Irrigation Scheme, had 3,136 hectares of land for banana and rice cultivation.
He said the Assembly, in collaboration with the people of Atrobinya in the Eastern Region, established 15 hectares of coconut plantation and another 15 hectares of Mahogany and Acacia at Kordiabe with a total 126 farmers under the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project.
Mr Jonathan Nartey, the Director of Agriculture, said the Department of Agriculture, in its drive to reach more farmers, intensified the strategy of developing Farmer-Based Organizations (FBOs) and had, therefore, instituted the best FBO special award.
The overall best farmer was Isaac Akuffo, who received a set of agriculture implements.