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08.01.2008 General News

Mpohor Wassa turns down commercial farming… But still complaining about poverty, unemployment

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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THE District Chief Executive for Mpohor Wassa East, Edward Tawiah Amprofi has challenged the chiefs and people in the district to take the education of their wards serious. According to him, the slow pace of growth of education in the district is as a result of poor attitude and neglect of parental duties.This, he noted, has contributed to high school drop out rate, the speedy growth of the unemployment among the youth in the district and has therefore been the greatest contributory factor to the lack of development.

In an interview with the chronicle here at Daboase, the DCE noted that though all efforts on the part of government to reverse the situation is on course, greater responsibility in ensuring the growth of education which formed the core frame of development rests on the shoulders of their parents.

“Government has introduced the capitation grant in the country and in our district including school feeding in selected schools in the district, which has increased enrollment at the basic level, but the secondary level is where we have the problem, because the children are not encouraged by their parents to learn because of poverty” Mr. Amprofi observed.

He told the chronicle that the education of children would lead to the overall development of the district through job creation, either formal or informal, training for self employment and entrepreneurial skills expansion among the youth in the district. Mr. Tawiah Amprofi said despite these setbacks the district was one of the best agrarian districts in the western region, but instead of the youth who formed the core percentage of the working age group to be engaged in farming, they are refusing to do so.

According to the DCE Amprofi, even with the support of government for soft loans to help them embark on farming activities, some of them have totally refused to see farming as the better alternative yet they are complaining that they are not employed.

He regretted that a poverty reduction strategy developed by the district to alleviate poverty among the youth through the production of palm nut seedlings for planting which was to be disbursed among the youth to pay at a low cost received low patronage. This, he said, has compelled the assembly to reduce the annual production of 100,000 seedlings to 25,000. Meanwhile the first and second batch of production of the seedlings was 47,000, and 50,000 respectively.

Due to the low patronage he said 35 employees who were engaged by the assembly to be working on the seedlings had to be pruned down to 18. Touching on the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), the DCE revealed that some farmers who collected loans from the government could not pay because of poor market. Those who had improved market for their produce too refused to pay back the loans. A development he described as very worrying. “ The People are not interested in commercial farming yet they are complaining about poverty.

They are only interested in subsistence farming which to me is only for survival, so they don't like paying back the loans”, he noted

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