The Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipal Assembly has distributed 20,000 coconut seedlings to farmers in the municipality in support of the government’s Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
Presenting the seedlings to the candidate farmers for` the programme in Elmina yesterday, the KEEA Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Appiah Korang, said the programme was aimed at establishing a raw material base for local industries.
He said the assembly would support agriculture, as it had a lot of benefits for the people.
He urged farmers to be patient with the government, since “what we have begun is a continuing process that will benefit the majority of our people”.
He persuaded traditional authorities to release more land to farmers for the programme, saying “it is a national programme that will benefit everyone, regardless of one’s political affiliation”.
Food and agriculture
The KEEA Municipal Director of Food and Agriculture, Ms Victoria Dansoa Abankwa, said the PERD was aimed at creating alternative sources of livelihood for the people.
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She said having realised that farmers in the area were engaged in the cultivation of cash crops for export, the government decided to introduce the programme, adding: “There is potential for the export of coconut and its bi-products.”
Ms Abankwa called on metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in the country, particularly those in the Central Region, to embrace the programme, since there was the possibility for them to earn income from it.
The 2018 KEEA Municipal Best Farmer, Mr Charles Ampong, received the products on behalf of the farmers and thanked the assembly for the support.
He urged his colleague farmers to follow best agronomic practices in cultivating the seedlings.
“It is my belief that when we take good care of the seedlings from now to fruiting, we will be able to attract more investors into our community,” he said.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, launched the PERD programme at Dunkwa-on-Offin in the Central Region on April 23, this year.
The programme is the tree-crop module of the Planting for Food and Jobs meant to create more jobs, facilitate foreign exchange earnings and fast-track development at the district level.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) is implementing the PERD, in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
It has been designed with a focus on developing selected tree crops, namely, cashew, coffee, oil palm, coconut, mango and rubber, for export.
For a start, 32,591 hectares of tree crops are expected to be planted in 191 districts.