24.07.2006 Regional News

REP Trains 1,703 In Asante-Akim North

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Three years after its introduction in the Asante-Akim North District of the Ashanti Region, the Rural Enterprises Project (REP) has trained a total of 1,703 youth in various fields of vocations. The project, which seeks to equip the youth with employable skills in a bid to alleviate poverty in rural areas have 896 women and 807 men beneficiary so far.

Mr Victor Kusi, Head of the District Business Advisory Centre (BAC), made this known when addressing a closing session of a training workshop for 31 youth, made up of 12 men and 13 women at Praaso near Konongo last Friday.

The five-day mushroom production workshop was organised by the BAC and funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), African Development Bank (AfDB), World Bank and the Government of Ghana.

Mr Kusi said the project formed part of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), which has women as the main focus providing avenues for them to make additional income through off-farm agricultural activities.

He observed that majority of the rural populace were into farming, yet their standard of living continued to deteriorate, thus the REP sought to provide alternative avenues for them to improve their lot.

He noted that training workshops had been organised for the youth in soap and pomade making, gari processing, batik, tie and dye, grasscutter rearing, snail farming, palm oil production as well as bee-keeping and urged others to take advantage of subsequent workshops. He called for the formation of associations as a basic requirement to access loans.

Nana Joseph Mintah, the resource person for the workshop, commended the participants for the zeal with which they patronised the workshop and implored them not to render the knowledge imparted to them useless.

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