Trade Minister inaugurates Ghana-EU Housing units for farmers
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has inaugurated a 224 on-farm housing units on the plantation of Golden Exotic Limited (GEL) at Kasunya/Asutsuare in the Shai Osoduku District of the Greater Accra Region.
A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Nana Ama Dokuaa Asiamah-Adjei, who inaugurated the project, said the newly constructed housing units were equipped with modern facilities to ensure comfortable living for farmers and their families under the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) initiative.
The houses have been designed with a focus on their functionality and sustainability which feature energy-efficient electricity systems, water treatment plant and a community centre.
Ms Dokua Asiamah-Adjei said the completion of the 224 housing units marked a long awaited, yet significant milestone in the journey towards creating a thriving farming community in Ghana
“The European Union (EU) and the government look forward to continuing their fruitful partnership to further empower farmers, contribute to sustainable rural development and improve the overall quality of life in the agricultural sector” she said.
She said access to decent and affordable housing played a crucial role in creating a conducive environment for farmers to thrive and contribute effectively to the agricultural sector.
She said by providing farmers with housing units, the BAM project was to address the pressing issue of rural poverty and homelessness within the farming community.
The project is part of the broader Banana Accompanying Measures Programme, which prioritised the development of the agricultural sector while enhancing social welfare within the farming community.
She expressed the government’s appreciation for the EU support to the project.
“We are proud to have collaborated with the EU in realising this important project.
The housing units will unlock potential and enhance the agricultural productivity of the farmers.
This is an embodiment of the shared vision for rural development and poverty reduction, which lies at the core of our collaboration," she said.
The Deputy Minister explained that the EU concluded a deal with Latin America and the USA in 2009 to settle 15 years of their Banana-trade disputes, the agreed cuts in EU Tariffs for banana’s imported from Latin American countries increased competition for African and Caribbean banana exporters.
The BAM was therefore introduced to help African and Caribbean banana exporting countries to remain competitive in the EU market.
In 2013, the EU and the government of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Finance) signed a Financing Agreement (FA) for the BAM package at a total cost of €7.2 million Euros to support Ghana’s Banana Industry.
The EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly, highlighted the significance of the partnership in empowering local communities: "These housing units are testament to our commitment to uplifting farmers and strengthening the agricultural sector.
“They will not only provide a safe and comfortable space for the farmers but also enable them to lead better lives, "he said.
He noted that the BAM supported the competitiveness of the Ghanaian Banana export sector, while ensuring its environmental and socio-economic sustainability in the long run.”
The Vice-President of Compagnie Fruitiere in Ghana, the parent company of Golden Exotics Limited) Olivier Chassang, in his address said the gesture was a major milestone in the social development of the company and a great example of international cooperation.