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Afram Plains gets $32.5 million agric project


A 32.5 million dollar Kwahu North District Agricultural Project (APDADP) has been launched to increase agricultural output and household income of beneficiary farmers in the area.

The project is being funded by the African Development Bank(AfDB), which is contributing 28.9 million dollars representing 89 per cent with the Government of Ghana providing a counterpart funding of 3.6 million dollars.

The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Mr Clement Eledi, who launched the programme said a total of 1,138 farmer groups would be formed to benefit from the package and in all over 28,000 individual farmers would benefit from the project.

He said the citing of the project in the district was part of government policy of balance regional growth and as part of his desire to meet the government millennium development goals.

Mr Eledi said the project would ensure rainwater management, seed multiplication, improved irrigated vegetable production, livestock management and fisheries resource management.

He called for effective collaboration between all stakeholders to ensure a successful implementation of the project.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah said, it came as no surprise that the Kwahu North District was chosen, because even though over 90 percent of residents engage in agriculture, its people are still suffering from mal-nutrition, disease and object poverty.

He called on the stakeholders including the District Assemblies, traditional authorities, officials of MOFA and the project officials to work effectively for the district to derive maximum benefit from the project.

Mr Barimah regretted that similar major regional agricultural projects such as the Upper Regional Agricultural Development Project (URADEP), the Volta Regional Agricultural Development Project(VORADEP) and quite recently, the Upper West Regional Development Project(UWADEP) had been launched in similar grand style but failed to improve the living standards of the people.

The Regional Minister said funds from the European Union would be used to construct 300 kilometres of feeder roads under the road improvement programme between 2007 and 2008 to facilitate the transportation of food produce to the marketing centres to avoid post harvest losses.

He said the government would use funds from the Millennium Challenge Accounts to purchase an additional ferry for the Adawso-Ekye-Amamfro route, while the Kwame Pong Nkwanta to Agogo feeder road would be completed to provide outlets for the district.

The District Chief Executive, Mr Solomon Fordjour said the district was the largest in the Eastern Region with arable land coverage of 5,040 square kilometres.

The Project Co-ordinator, Mr Kofi Amoako Tweneboa said the vision for the project was to develop the plains as the nation's food basket.

Source: GNA