Two hundred and fifty (250) farmers in Adansi Akrofuom in the Ashanti Region have received ten thousand coconut seedlings from the Akrofuom District Assembly.
It is part of measures by the Assembly to support farmers to take advantage of government’s One District One Factory initiative.
The coconut produced by these farmers will serve as raw material that will feed the factories.
Akrofuom District Chief Executive, Mr. Maurice Jonas Woode, says the initiative is part of the Assembly’s commitment to enhance the socio-economic wellbeing of its people.
He reiterated that this will contribute to efforts to woo investors to the district. Mr. Woode said this when he joined the Member of Parliament for the area, Alex Blankson at a short ceremony to distribute the seedlings.
Planting for Exports and Rural Development (PERD)
Meanwhile, officials of the district had earlier distributed 4,000 Coconut seedlings in addition to more than 80,000 oil palm seedlings to farmers in the area, as part of the Planting for Exports and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
Mr. Jonas Woode, said through the PERD programme, the Assembly is seeking to create sustainable raw material base to spur up the decentralized industrialization drive of the Government through the ‘One District, One Factory’ initiative.
“…factories cannot run without raw materials; hence the Assembly is focusing on readying raw materials like Coconut and Oil Palm for potential investors”.
Mr. Woode, who expressed delight in the number of young people who turned up to receive the Coconut seedlings, emphasized that it is high time the youth took advantage of the opportunities in the agriculture sector.
“…we cannot always rely on mining to survive. I want to encourage the youth of this district to take advantage of the plethora of Agriculture-related programmes introduced by this government. This will empower them economically and make them self-reliant”.
PERD as Alternative Livelihoods to Illegal Mining
Member of Parliament for Adansi Akrofuom, Alex Blankson says the Assembly through PERD will support the government’s Alternative Development Livelihood Programme to offer alternative sources of income for people who were once engaged in illegal mining.
He bemoaned the fact that the hitherto arable lands at Akrofuom have been depleted through the activities of illegal miners.
“… ‘galamsey’ activities will not bode well for the future of the youth hence the need to take advantage of the free coconut seedlings and go into coconut production.
“If you have 2 acres of land, we will give you 140 seedlings and if one tree gives you 200 nuts, in a year, you will have in excess of GHC28,000 as profit so I urge the youth to get involved and be economically independent”.
The implementation of the programme is expected to reduce poverty and improve livelihood in the district.
District Director of Agriculture, Richard Kwaku Nyamekye lauded the seedling distribution initiative by both the DCE and MP and urged them to continue to support agricultural development in the district.
The directorate disclosed the continuous deployment of technical officers to assist with best fertilizer application practices, early weeding and other extension service to the beneficiary farms to improve their respective yields.
Meanwhile, more women are being encouraged to get involved in the agriculture initiatives by the district to empower the inhabitants.
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