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Government Remains Focused On Agric - Minister
 
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11-Mar-2013  
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Seth Terkper
 
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Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Seth Terkper says government remains focused on its policy interventions to introduce technology and improve agricultural production.

The key interventions are the adoption of livestock production technologies, agricultural mechanisation, irrigation development, fertiliser subsidies, and implementation of modern buffer-stock management techniques.

He said the expected results are increased productivity; higher output, incomes and export earnings; food security, supply of materials for value addition and rural development. Touching on the sector’s performance in 2012 during his budget speech on the floor of parliament, he said one livestock demonstration centre was established at Weija to enhance livestock production among 5,000 small-scale farmers.

“In line with government’s policy to reduce importation of chicken, increase incomes of farmers and to meet the country’s meat requirements, 5,687 cockerels were raised and distributed to 250 farmers at a subsidised rate in 25 districts of the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions.

“To improve livestock production in the country, livestock stations under the Ministry of Agriculture produced 460 improved stocks of various species and supplied 206 breeding stock to farmers to increase productivity,” he said.

In addition, he said 100 grandparent-pigs were imported for multiplication and subsequent distribution to pig farmers across the nation.

Commenting on the crops sub-sector, Mr. Terkper said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is currently promoting tree and industrial crops. He said 3,000 hectares of oil palm plantations involving 960 farmers in the Central Region have been established.

He said a contract to construct a 77km feeder road has been awarded in the rubber and oil palm-growing areas, adding that the Ministry has provided improved cashew planting materials for farmers to expand the area under cultivation. In all, 44,000 cashew clones were produced and improved seeds provided to farmers to cultivate 2,500 new cashew farms.

“Under the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), 188 acres made up of 108 cassava and 10 acres of sweet potato were established as community demonstration sites in 64 districts in all the 10 regions.

“A total of 1,394 farmers comprising 846 males and 548 females benefitted from the programme. WAAPP fully funded the construction and refurbishment of a biotechnology laboratory at the Crop Research Institute (CRI) at Fumesua in Kumasi, and provided new equipment and screen houses to CSIR-FRI, CSIR-SRI and CSIR-PGRRI,” he said.

He said WAAPP also supported the development of high-quality cassava flour and several varieties of cassava, cocoyam, sweet potato and cowpea.
 
 
 
Source: B&FT
 
 

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