Business News of Sunday, 16 July 2006
Awutu-Bawjiase (C/R), July 16, GNA - Commercial and Outgrowing Pineapple Producers in the Awutu-Effutu-Senya District of the Central Region, have expressed gratitude to the US Government for selecting Ghana as one of the beneficiary countries of the Millennium Challenge Account facility.
They however, appealed to the administrators of the Account to ensure that final endorsement of the agreement on the facility comes off on August 1, this year, as scheduled, to enable farmers in the area to source assistance from it.
Mr. Edward Twum, Managing Director of Prudent Farms, a commercial pineapple producer and exporter, and a group of outgrowers, jointly made the commendation at Prudent Farms at the weekend.
This was when the Sector Minister of Public Sector Reform, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, led a four-member delegation from the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Washington DC, USA, to the farm as part of their tour of some selected Millennium Challenge Account beneficiary districts in the country.
The tour initiated by the Office of the Millennium Challenge Account Project was designed to help the team led by Mr. Rodney G. Bent, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation acquaint themselves with agricultural viabilities in the country.
Mr. Twum said agriculture, especially commercial farming, had always been considered capital intensive, hence the need for Government to come out with comprehensive financial package to support farmers who undertake such projects.
He announced plans to train out-growers in the area operating under the auspices of Prudent Farms to equip them with the requisite knowledge and skills for the growing of the new variety of pineapple for export. Mr. Twum said the new variety sells fast and also attracts good price on the world market but its production cost is high. He announced that presently, his company has about 1,000,000 sockets of the new variety for sale and assured farmers wishing to secure some to contact the company for any quantity they might need. Mr. K. Oppey-Abbey, Member of Parliament for Awutu/Senya and Mr. Kwesi Esseku, the Presiding Member of the Awutu-Effutu-Senya District Assembly, also advised farmers in the district to take the co-operative farming idea seriously to enable them to obtain credit facility from the Millennium Challenge Account Project.