Mr Jerry Yakubu Yahaya, Bole District Chief Executive, has appealed for the extension of the Ghana Cocoa Board Educational Scholarship Scheme currently being enjoyed by cocoa farmers' children, to cover those of cashew and sheanut farmers in the Northern Region.
Mr Yahaya made the appeal at the open day celebration of the Cocoa Research Institute held by the substation in Bole as part of its 70th anniversary celebration to expose its research and other activities undertaken to the general public in Bole.
He expressed his appreciation to the Institute for engaging the youth and women on part-time basis, which he said was supplementing government efforts in solving part of the acute unemployment problem faced by the people.
Dr Emmanuel Kofi Odoi, Director of the Institute earlier in a speech revealed that as part of its social responsibilities in improving the lifestyle of the people, the Institute had embarked on a non-direct sheanut and cashew research.
This, he said, was through picking and processing of sheanut and cashew and that it seasonally employs 100 to 150 women, and 40 others for the operation of cashew processing projects.
Seventy other young men were also employed monthly to maintain the fields, carry out maintenance of buildings, and experimental work, and expressed the hope that, soon they would be taken on permanently.
Dr. Odoi said the substation of the Institute was established in 1971 in Bole in the Northern Region where sheanut are predominant, to develop appropriate technology that offers solution to farmers to reduce their gestation period from 20 to seven years.
He said farmers were being encouraged to protect the wild sheanut trees from bushfires as means of conserving their species from destruction and to improve on them for higher productivity.
The Institute, Dr Odoi said, added cashew to its mandate crops in collaboration with the Cashew Nut Development Projects of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, developing various technologies, some of which have already been introduced to cashew farmers in the district.