District and Municipal Chief Executives as well as all directors of Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in the Brong -Ahafo Region have been sensitised on a new agriculture programme which government will soon launch to ensure food security and raw materials for industries.
The project, 'Planting for Foods and Investment' is to run and give life to government's yet-to-be established 'One district, One Factory' and 'One Village, One Dam' concepts, and also complement government's flagship programme 'Planting for Foods and Jobs', Hon. Collins Ntim, a deputy minister of Local Government and Rural Developments said at a meeting with the MMDAs in Sunyani on Wednesday.
He said the programme, which will pay special attention to selected cash crops namely Cashew, Shea, Mango, Citrus, Cocoa, Rubber and Oil Palm, will be launched jointly by the Ministries of Food and Agriculture and the Local Government and Rural Development.
Under the concept, MMDAs are required to present an agricultural project initiative taking into consideration one or two of the identified cash crops with a budget that would support 10,000 to 20,000 farmers to cultivate an average of 10 acres of crops within the next four years, and also recruit 100 youth in every district to support farmers to plant the seedlings from the established Seed banks by the Assemblies.
Dr Sagri Babagni, a deputy mister of MOFA in an interview with Peacefmonline.com said: "the project seeks to position Ghana as a world leading producer of Cocoa and Cashew in the next 4-10 years".
He added government will register and support about two to three million farmers, who would be mobilised into cooperatives and take a biometric database and GPS mapping on all the farmers and their farms.
According to Dr Babagni, the database of the farmers will be established for the sector to link up to establish the necessary value addition linkages.
The Agric programme will also see to the establishment of 'District Centre Of Agriculture, Commerce and Technology (DCACT) in every District to among other things enhance government's drive for industrial revolution through the various districts, with the mandate to promote agribusiness to facilitate an interface between the private and public sector at the district level.
The DCACT will also attract investment in Agro Processing at the districts to add value to agriculture produce for domestic industrial use, facilitate the establishment of processing plants in non farming districts to districts with raw materials to open up the area for development, and implement government policy on agribusiness and sustainable agricultural value chain.
The DCACT, which is expected to boost investor confidence in availability of raw material base, will be managed by a 13 member committee including the M/DCEs, a rep from the Ministry of Trades and industry, a representative from the Traditional Authority and an entrepreneur in the district. It will also promote the agribusiness potentials of the district playing an important role in directing the private sector into the 'One District, One Factory agenda.
Source: Henryson Okrah
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