The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has received financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance for the employment of some 2,700 persons who will serve as extension officers to support the implementation of government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
According to Agricuture Minister Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, out of the 4,400 extension officers who were at post at the ministry, only 1,600 are currently working and out of that, about 80 per cent of them are due for retirement in the next three years, hence the need to recruit more personnel.
Taking his turn at the Meet The Press series in Accra on Tuesday, 26 June 2018, Dr Akoto said: “The failure to the farmer has been that extension has been run down in this country.
“I inherited the ministry with a total of 4,400 extension officers to do my work but as I speak to you, I have only 1,600 and out of the 1,600, 80 per cent of them are going on pension in the next two to three years. So, it means their active life in the ministry is over.
“So, we inherited a situation where extension under the ministry of food and agriculture was virtually non-existent. So, we had to call on the National Service Scheme and the National Youth Employment to [give] us young men and women to help us to start Planting for Food and Jobs, and now we have the authority from the Ministry of Finance to employ permanently, 2,700 of them this year, alone, to try and revive extension services in the country.”