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Business News of Monday, 6 May 2013

Source: GNA

EDAIF to make mango ‘cocoa’ of the north

The Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) is to invest more funds into mango production in a manner that will make the fruit the ‘cocoa’ of the north.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EDAIF, Dr Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, said this in Wa during a training session for some beneficiaries of the mango plantation project in the Upper West Region.

Cocoa is Ghana's major cash crop that generates lots of foreign exchange for the nation.

Dr Issahaku appealed to people who had business plans to establish mango juice processing plants, those who were good at packaging the fruit for export as well and others who wanted to venture into mango growing to apply to EDAIF for support.

He said about 320 farmers from the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Brong-Ahafo regions and parts of northern Volta were presently benefiting from EDAIF’s mango plantation project fund.

Dr Issahaku said because of the technicalities involved with mango growing, EDAIF was partnering with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to provide the necessary technical training to beneficiary farmers across its operational areas.

Mr Matthew Song-Aabu, a beneficiary, described the project as one that could turn round the economic fortunes of beneficiaries.

He, therefore, appealed to other farmers, who had interest in mango cultivation, to apply to EDAIF for funds to venture into the business.

He, however, noted that agric was time bound and resources such as fertilizer, seedlings and funds should be made available on time to avoid late planting, which could have bad effects on the plantations.

Mr Song-Aabu also appealed to EDAIF to address the issue of water accessibility in the various plantations by constructing irrigation facilities for the farmers.

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