Investments in cassava production and processing in the Adaklu District of the Volta Region with the appropriate technology can rapidly turn around the fortunes of the area and lift the living standards of the people to astonishing heights, the District Director of Agriculture, Eugenia Bruce, has said.
“This will be a worthy venture with guaranteed and bountiful returns in the medium term,” she said in an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic at Adaklu Waya last Thursday.
Ms Bruce said there were now 6,000 cassava farmers and 3,000 gari processors in the district, adding that at least 3,200 hectares of the produce were cultivated annually.
She said there was still vast and fertile land available to support large-scale cassava production in the district which had 98 communities and a population of almost 40,000.
The district director of agriculture said the tools needed most now were industrial gari fryers, smokeless stoves and solar dryers for processing the cassava into gari.
Further, the processing of cassava into ethanol, starch, cassava chips and tapioca through modern and industrial methods would yield quicker results, jobs and good money, she added.
Already, Ms Bruce said there was diversity in the processing of the locally produced gari which was often ‘fortified’ with coconut, pawpaw, ginger and moringa, and that added value to it.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has identified the Adaklu District as an ideal zone for meat processing.
The Regional Director of GEPA, Chris Amponsa Sackey, said in an interview in Ho that the district had an enormous cattle, goat and sheep market which attracted buyers from various parts of the region and beyond.
Processing the meat, he pointed out, would definitely be a worthy commercial venture with bright prospects for job creation.
The District Chief Executive, Juliana Kpedekpo, for her part, said as a priority, the menace of nomadic Fulani herdsmen in the area letting loose their cattle to destroy crops of the farms would be addressed once and for all.
She said plans were far advanced to create an isolated ranch for the herdsmen.
“This will enable our farmers to cultivate their crops in peace without any hindrance from the herdsmen and their cattle,” the DCE added.
Meanwhile, Ms Kpedekpo gave an assurance that work was about to commence on some key roads in the district and that would rapidly boost commercial activities in Adaklu, while work had begun to rebuild the bridge between Have and Dzakpo.