The General Agricultural Workers Union of Ghana (GAWU) is requesting that the Agricultural Minister, Dr. Afriyie Akoto, provides tangible evidence of jobs created through government’s Planting for Food and Jobs Initiative as is being touted, ABC News can report.
The Agric Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has in an interview with Joy News, Wednesday, indicated that the Planting for Food and Jobs program under his Ministry has yielded about 900, 000 jobs since its inception in 2017.
According to Dr. Afriyie Akoto, the 900, 000 estimation is hinged on the ripple effect of the programme, in that, the more beneficiaries of the program expand their agricultural activities, the more there will be demand for labor and as a result, more jobs will be created.
But GAWU disagrees.
Speaking on the same platform, Edward Kareweh, General Secretary of GAWU challenged the Minister to provide evidence of the 900,000 jobs created.
“The point is that all of us have to ask the Minister to explain because this is the challenge since 2017 when the claim was made that per the Planting for Food and Jobs program, 745 and later on 750,000 jobs were created. We demanded to know how they were created, we also wanted to know where the jobs are and that has not yet been explained. Where the jobs are through the Planting for foods and job” he iterated.
According to him, the justification for job creation given by the Minister is questionable. While he agrees that jobs can be created when more labor is required, Mr. Kareweh said those bases cannot be proven scientifically.
“When you talk about labor, is it labor which leads to remuneration or you’re talking about just man-hours? If you have a certain quantity, like two acres and more or up to five acres, and because you have now subscribed to the improved seeds and then the fertilizer for the same acreage, your output goes up and because your output goes up, you automatically need additional hands to be able to deal with the output. To some extent, yes, but it is not necessarily the case that when your output goes up you must have additional hands to take care of it because it doesn’t factor in that way.
“So that is where it is not scientifically determined, and the figures that came out as jobs that have been created with the program is so questionable in the sense that it’s so huge that you can’t generate those types of jobs using a program that was targeting only five crops, even now though it has been extended to cover a number of crops” he stated, ABC News can report.
Mr. Kareweh argued that whereas in other jurisdictions, technology enables people in the agricultural industry to work without their physical presence on the farm, the same cannot be said for Ghana.
Therefore, he requested that every claim of job creation must be substantiated with the evidence.
“It’s quite a theoretical analysis but on the grounds, where are the jobs? Because those jobs cannot be factored anywhere, you can’t identify them, and jobs are tangibles. We have not yet reached a situation whereby you can do agriculture with technology that does not allow the physical presence of the one who is providing the labor. The point is that they are claiming that the jobs are created, and I think that whoever is interested in job creation, just like us, should ask them they should show us the jobs” he added.