The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appealed to chiefs and other traditional leaders to make lands easily available for large-scale agricultural activities in the country.
As custodians of the land, the chiefs have the responsibility to release lands to facilitate large-scale commercial farming under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) phase II project.
President Akufo-Addo made the appeal at a round-table discussion with members of the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi.
The meeting with the traditional authorities was to discuss and deliberate on the active involvement of chiefs in the second phase of the PFJ II project.
It was initiated by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture headed by Mr Bryan Acheampong.
The President indicated that agriculture remained the fuel that empowered all activities in Ghana, and it was important to position it firmly to play its leadership role in national development.
He said despite the devastating effects of COVID-19 on global economies, the government had continued to strive hard to ensure economic sustainability through various interventions.
Nana Akufo-Addo noted that the huge cost of paying for land upfront discouraged agriculture in the country and for this reason, the Government was moving away from the state land acquisition for agriculture purposes.
He told the chiefs that unlike the past where governments acquired lands under the executive instrument for agricultural purposes, under the PFJ II, the government was going to look at a new policy direction to that effect.
He explained that traditional authorities continued to serve as catalyst for development and played pivotal roles in the implementation of government programmes and policies.
The President said through government policies and interventions in the agriculture sector, the fortunes of the country had begun to turn around systematically towards the micro -economic stability, despite the challenges of climate change.
He stressed the need for the chieftaincy institution to continue to be indispensable and play an active part in the historic government project by releasing lands for the PFJ II farming activities.
Present at the meeting were Mr Simon Osei Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Kennedy Kankam, MCE for Asokore-Mampong, amongst others
It was chaired by Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, President of the National House of Chiefs.