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Business News of Monday, 19 October 2015

Source: GNA

Amen Amen members marks WFP Day

Hundreds of members loyal to Amen Amen Scientific Institute over the weekend carried placards to sensitise farmers and government on the need to encourage local production.

Some of the placards read: “Let us unite and fight hunger; “food is source of energy and body building;” “food is life;” “eat what you grow and grow what you eat,” and “let us fight hunger and grow more food in Ghana.”

The members who came from various parts of Accra marched to the fore court of the Parliament House singing to commemorate the celebration of World Food Programme (WFP) Day which fell on October 16.

Mr Amen Amenreynolds, President of Amen scientific Institute told the gathering of Ministers, officials from Food and Agricultural Organisation as well as World Food Programme and members of the public that the Institute is ever ready to support the Ministry of Food and Agriculture with food items during the celebrations of the day.

He said his contribution was therefore in the form of donation of various food items including, maize, salad, rice, fish, and guinea fowl to inmates of the Dzorwulu Special School.

Amenreynolds also made a cash donation GH¢10,000.00 to assist the Ministry to successfully celebrate the day as well as for the end hunger campaign.

Members of the Institute offloaded the food items from a truck which arrived at the programme ground.

Mr Fiifi Kwetey, Minister of Food and Agriculture expressed appreciation to Amen Amen Institute for making it a duty to assist the Ministry to celebrate the day.

He said, for Ghana to develop a more productive agriculture to reduce the incidence of poverty, there should be a concerted efforts to strengthen and develop research, extension and facilitate access to credit and above all, provide agricultural infrastructure and equipment.

Mr Kwetey noted that in order to sustain the current food self-sufficiency in the major staples and strengthen social intervention programmes, the government has put in place a number of strategies including; the fertiliser subsidy.

He said within the last four years, government has subsidised the purchase of a total of 608,084mt of fertiliser at the cost of GH¢211, 444 adding that, this year’s programme is ongoing.

Government has also support 45,600 youth including; young ladies under the Youth In Agriculture programme since 2012 with inputs to cultivate maize, rice, soya bean, millet vegetables on a total of 76,812.80ha of land in seven regions and trained 500 youth in livestock and poultry production.

To support the poultry production, 17,000 day old chicks were distributed to young farmers in the Eastern and Volta regions, 50 floating cages were distributed to 250 youth and one million fingerlings were distributed to young farmers.

Mr Fiifi said government established the National Food and Buffer Stock Company and over the past four years it has released a total of 284,396 bags (50kg) of rice, 330,377 bags of maize and 270,000 bags of yellow maize into the local market.

The sector Minister said mass spraying by Ghana Cocoa Board is intended to reduce pest infestation to ensure maximum yield.

The Women in Agriculture directorate has also been training women in vocational skills, gari processing, making of pastries from cassava flour and the making of all types of foods from local agriculture produce to improve nutrition and empower women economically.

Amidst a display of gymnastics and a parade by students, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) band also entertained the gathering with songs.

Personnel from Ghana Navy raised the flags of Ghana and the United Nations as part of the celebrations after GNFS band played the national anthems of Ghana and the UN.