The Managing Director and owner of Praire Ghana Ltd,
the new company which has taken over the Aveyime-Battor rice project, Mr. Everett Anderson, has given the assurance that all was set for work to begin on the rice project, which he said, had a high potential in feeding the country, as well as for export.
He explained that for a start, in two weeks time, machines would begin preparing the land for cultivation. The company would employ use of irrigation and crop management, which he pointed out, would continue for three years, until the entire farm was fully developed for production.
Mr. Anderson, who made this known to The Chronicle, said within four weeks, the company would plant the first seed, which would be on a small scale research plot, so as to enable the company to identify the proper varieties of rice, which would be suitable for the area. A process, the Manager said would help in deciding the best practices to adopt, to enhance production.
The Manager stressed that in ten months, after the first four weeks of research into the best rice quality to grow in the area, the first commercial planting would begin. Noting that four months after the first commercial planting, the company would have its first commercial harvest, and would begin sales in the following months.
He observed that initially, there would be individual and community problems, but with time such difficulties would be addressed, and remarked that the new management would work hard, to ensure that the management, in the execution of the project, would also contribute towards the development of the people.
Mr. Anderson disclosed that the needed equipment for the project, were in place, adding that in the short term, twenty thousand people would be employed, while forty thousand would be employed in the long term, which he noted, would help reduce the high level of unemployment in the area, as the locals would be considered in the employment process.
He, therefore, urged the chiefs in the area, to help bring the youth, who left their communities in search of non-existent jobs, to come home and get themselves employed to work on the farm, to make life more comfortable for them.
Mr. Anderson said the company in the long term, would implement a development programme for the catchment area, as the company's contribution towards its responsibility to the community, saying such development projects would involve education, health and infrastructure development, particularly road development in the area.
Another area of development, Mr. Anderson said, would be provision of telecommunication facilities in the Tongu area, to help open up the communities, as additional responsibility to the development of the rice project.
When The Chronicle spoke to some of the residents of the Battor and Mepe traditional areas, they said they had learned trades such as fitting and driving, and hoped that the activation of the rice project, would go a long way to pave the way, for them to put to bear their expertise in the various fields of the company.