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xxxxxxxxxxx of Saturday, 8 December 2018

Source: Emmanuel Yaw Acheampong

Agric Sector to gain stronger foundation in 2019 – Birim South DCE

The Birim South District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Richmond Kofi Amponsah has assured Ghanaians that the agriculture sector which employs about 44 percent of the country’s population will gain stronger foundation than the 2018 performances next year.

This assurance comes on the heels of major interventions that have been put in place by government to revamp the agriculture sector to lead efforts toward the economic transformation of the country.

According to him government has voted a heavy amount of money to help empower over 500,000 farmers to increase food production and create more jobs for the youth in its flagship programme, “Planting for Food and Jobs”, (PFJ).

Mr. Kofi Amponsah announced this at Akyem-Awisa during the District’s turn of the 34th National Farmers Day Celebration.

He said under the agricultural transformation programmes, roads linking farms to urban centres would be constructed and refurbished, while storage facilities for farm produce would also be provided to attract private capital for large-scale agribusinesses.

“I am happy to announce to you that the Oda – Amanfopong and Swedru – Apoli –Ningo roads have all been awarded on contracts by the central government. Work is progressing steadily on these roads and they would be completed soon to ease the hardship that drivers and commuters go through daily when plying these roads”, he told the gathering.

Mr. Kofi Amponsah further indicated that, as part of the PFJ programme a total of 2,700 extension agents would be recruited to support the initiative to increase the production of selected crops for food security and job creations. On some interventions put in place by the District to improve agriculture, the DCE hinted that, out of the targeted 40,000 nursed oil palm seedlings under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), 25,000 has been achieved and are yet to be distributed free of charge to over 700 farmers for cultivation in June 2019.

The District Agric Director, Mr. Clifford Asare commended the government of Ghana and the Canadian government for supporting the Agricultural sector in diverse ways including the provision of brand new Nissan pick-ups and Motorbikes which is currently being assembled for field officers under the Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) project.

He assured the gathering that government would not renege on its promise to revamp the sector through the provision of the requisite inputs and resources to all stakeholders including farmers who are the ultimate beneficiaries going forward.

Mr. Asare therefore enumerated series of activities taken up by the department under the Modernization of Agriculture programme such as the farmer’s fora demonstrations, staff and farmers trainings, and animal vaccinations among others.

On his part, the Omanhene of Akyem-Awisa and Chairperson for the occasion, Nana Kwarteng Karikari III cautioned all Agric Directors in the country to deepen their periodic monitoring of their extension officers.

This he noted would go a long way to ensure those farmers who are in rural parts of the country to cultivate enough food to feed themselves and sell the surplus for income.

He further stated that the initiative would also support the government’s flagship agriculture programme, PFJ which he believes would boost the use of local raw materials for manufacturing industries and create employment for the timid unemployed youth.