30.03.2006 Regional News

Offinso district assembly spends 350 million cedis on projects

30.03.2006 LISTEN

Offinso (Ash), March 30, GNA - The Offinso District Assembly has spent a total of 350 million cedis on its cocoa, oil palm and citrus projects in the district in support of the President's Special Initiatives (PSI).

It is envisaged that a total number of 3,000 young farmers would initially benefit from the project on an average of two acres per farmer.

Mr Augustine Collins Ntim, the District Chief Executive, who disclosed this at the launching of the project at Offinso said the district used to be one of the richest and leading producer of cocoa, oil palm and citrus until the bushfires of 1983 which destroyed the whole farms.

He said this led to the rich lands being left fallow with only a very small percentage being cultivated by farmers, adding that the disaster has led to a high level of poverty in the district, especially among farmers.

Mr Ntim said due to the enthusiasm showed by chiefs, assembly members, farmers and other stakeholders, there has been a 100 per cent increase in the number of seedlings, which were expected to be raised initially.

He said 17 seed banks have been established in the district with eight in the Offinso South and nine in the Offinso North constituencies with a total of 457,950 cocoa, 50,000 oil palm and 54,200 citrus seedlings respectively.

"We still have 245,000 polythene bags at the various sites yet to filled with seeds and nuts", he added.

Nana Wiafe Akenten III, paramount chief of Offinso traditional area, expressed his appreciation for the concern and support exhibited by the assembly and the Members of Parliament for the area and the youth as a whole for the achievement so far made on the project. He was optimistic that the chiefs would co-operate with the assembly and the youth to accelerate the cultivation of the crops and advised that they include other crops for the purpose of diversification. Nana Wiafe Akenten called on the farmers to adopt modern farming methods and strategies to improve on their production.

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