New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential hopeful, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has pledged his commitment to boost agricultural production in the Kwahu North District (Afram Plains) to enable the area to regain its past status as the food basket of the country.
He also promised to provide fishing nets for fishermen in the area at subsidised prices, as well as add two more pontoons to the one in use now in less than a year to facilitate the movement of people and goods in the area.
“The NPP government has also secured a $32 million loan from the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) as part of efforts at boosting agricultural production in the area,” Nana Akufo-Addo announced.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who was speaking at separate rallies at Tease, Donkorkrom, Kwaekese and Ekye Amanfrom, all in the Afram Plains, declared, “I will ensure that the Afram Plains becomes the main beneficiary of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) funds when elected as president in December.”
The NPP candidate, who was accompanied by some of the party's executives, including the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu; the former Minister of Finance, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo; Eastern Regional Chairman of the NPP, Mr Yaw Gyekye Amoabeng; Ghana's Ambassador-designate to Ireland, Ms Gloria Akuffo, among others, was on the second phase of his tour of the Eastern Region.
The tour was also used to officially open an NPP office at Ekye Amanfrom.
He said that funds from the MCA would be used to embark on massive social interventions in the Afram Plains in areas such as the construction of roads, health facilities and schools, as well as connect a few of the communities without electricity to the national grid to improve the lot of the people.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, since the Afram Plains had an enormous potential to ensure food security in the country, he would make every effort to provide the necessary assistance for farmers in the area.
To that end, he indicated his government's preparedness to work closely with the relevant organisations to institute various training programmes to educate farmers on modern agricultural practices.
That, he believed, would enable them to increase their farm yields to enable them to earn decent living to support themselves and also make agriculture attractive to the youth.
“I, Nana Akufo-Addo, also pledge my commitment to institute a pension scheme for our hardworking cocoa farmers to secure their future and also make cocoa farming a rewarding venture for the unemployed youth in the area,” he said.
He told the farmers in the area that now that the country had become a major emergency food depot point in the sub-region, farmers, including those in the Afram Plains, would now have a ready market to sell their produce at competitive prices.
He, therefore, appealed to the people in the area to change their perception about the NPP by voting massively for the party in the December elections, saying that would enable him, as President, to continue the good works of the Kufuor administration.
“No longer can you afford to make the mistake of placing the destiny of this promising country in the hands of an incompetent, inefficient and unproductive group of people, particularly the National Democratic Congress (NDC),” Nana Akufo-Addo stated.
Some of the opinion leaders in the area commended the NPP government for introducing various people-centred initiatives such as the National Health Insurance Scheme, the School Feeding Programme and the Capitation Grant, which they said had brought much relief to them.
The opinion leaders at Kwaekese particularly appealed to the government to connect the area to the national grid to improve socio-economic activities in the area.
Other speakers, including Messrs Affram Asiedu, Osafo-Maafo, Boakye Agyarko, Ms Akuffo and Ms Grace Omaboe, appealed to the electorate to weigh the positive achievements of the NPP government in its nearly eight-year rule against that of the NDC before casting their vote in December.