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Regional News of Sunday, 21 December 2003

Source: GNA

Workshop on poverty reduction ends

Winneba, Dec. 21, GNA- The Presiding Member of the Awutu-Effutu- Senya District Assembly, Mr Kwesi Esseku, has appealed to landowners in the district, particularly those in the Awutu Traditional Area, not to release all their lands to commercial pineapple producers for pineapple plantation.

Mr. Esseku expressed fear that the practice would affect the Production of staple foods like, plaintain, yam, cocoyam, cassava and even vegetables if chiefs and other landowners did not take a second and more serious look at their action now.

The Presiding Member disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Winneba last Friday, at the end of a three-day workshop on poverty reduction for some members of the Awutu- Effutu-Senya District at Winneba.

The workshop, sponsored by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development was aimed at equipping the participants with the needed knowledge and skills for reducing poverty in the rural areas.

Mr Esseku expressed concern about the alarming rate at which landowners in the Awutu Traditional area were releasing large tracts of farm lands to commercial farmers for higher fees to the detriment of peasant farmers who produce mainly staple food items.

He said from every indication, the action of the landowners would badly affect industrial cassava production to feed the Ayensu Cassava Company at Awutu-Bawjiase if steps were not taken immediately to halt it.

Mr Esseku advised participants at the workshop to make good use of the knowledge and skills gained at the workshop to impact on the people in their communities.

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