The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has indicated that stringent measures have been put in place to boost extension services in the sector.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday in Accra at the Meet-the-Press Series organized by the Ministry of Information, Dr. Akoto said that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) assumed office in 2017 at a time when extension services to farmers had virtually been halted by the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
The Minister disclosed that out of the 4,400 extension service officers in the country the country at the time, only 1,600 were actively working.
He said about 80 percent of 1,600 extension services providers would retire in the next four years.
Dr. Akoto explained that the current government was doing everything possible to enhance extension services.
As part of measures to revive the services, he stated that the Agriculture Ministry has engaged the National Service Secretariat and Youth Employment Agency (YEA) to recruit some extension service agents.
According to him, about 3,000 extension agents had been engaged from the two institutions, adding that recruitment of 2,700 agriculture extension agents has been initiated.
The Minister added that 3,000 motorbikes, 216 pickups and protective clothing were being procured for distribution nationwide to support extension delivery.
Efforts, he said, were also being made to attract more youth, especially graduates from agricultural colleges, into farming.
He said government would establish what he termed Green House Villages and sponsor 50 students to Israel for training.
The Green House Villages, according to him, are to assist Ghana improve food production and packaging to take advantage of the European Union (EU) market.