Over 4 thousand vacancies for Agric extension officers

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has 4,400 vacancies for extension officers to help government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme take off, sector Minister Dr Owusu Afriye Akoto has disclosed.

He noted that extension officers were the link between technology and the farmers and their absence would mean farmers being cut off from the use of technology.

To this end, the ministry has employed 1,500 extension officers to be dispatched across the country to assist with the programme.

Dr Afriyie Akoto said this at a symposium on the 2017 budget statement and economic policy of the government of Ghana organised by the Private Enterprise Federation and GIMPA in Accra on Wednesday 29 March.

“If you come to the Ministry of Agriculture, there is supposed to be 4,400 vacant positions for extension officers. As I speak to you now, we don’t even have 2,600 and out of that 80 per cent of them are going on retirement in the next two, three years. So there is total decimation of the extension service. And the extension service is the link between technology and the farmer, so if you remove that, it means that the farmer is being cut off from technology and you know we have small holdings and therefore the technology to favour the farmers will be technology that will be in the hands of the farmer and when he is being supervised to apply it, then you will get the maximum out of it,” he stated.

“Over 1,500 graduates have come out of our five agricultural colleges and are sitting home doing nothing with their [certificates]. We have employed 1,200 of them to come and as I speak to you, they are undergoing training and orientation in all the regions to be dispatched to the various districts for the work to start.”