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22.04.2009 Education

Revive the use of School farms

By gna
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Mr Kwesi Ahowi, Minister of Food and Agriculture, on Wednesday called for the revival of farms operated by educational institutions.

Mr Ahowi said school farms which were operated years ago helped schools to feed themselves and attracted the youth into agriculture.

He said it was important for each school to go into areas such piggery, poultry or fishing so that “every child can enjoy at least an egg daily.”

The Minister made the call when he received Dr Jacque Diouf, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General, at his office in Accra.

Dr Diouf, who is in Ghana on a three–day visit, would acquaint himself with his organization's programmes in the country and was accompanied by Mrs. Helena Maria Semedo, Deputy Regional Representative of FAO and Dr Elsaid Yeboah, Assistant Representative of FAO in Ghana.

The Minister said it was important to commence resume farming activities in schools on pilot basis so that they could be replicated in all the regions.

Mr Ahwoi said it was his vision to see that farmers who helped in feeding the nation generated more income that would enhance their standard of living and ensure that cash crops produced in Ghana were accepted on the international market.

To ensure that crops produced in Ghana got to the international market, he was going to focus more on issues concerning food security which had now become requirements by the European Union.

In addition, the Minister said he would liaise with the Ministry of Trade and Industry so that products from Ghana could receive attention on the international market.

While aiming at getting Ghanaian products on the international market, Mr Ahowi said there was the need for Ghana to produce more for its reserves citing the recent food crises that plagued the world.

He said his Ministry had therefore targeted what he described as most needy crops namely sorghums and cereals together with poultry and fishing as areas that would need more attention.

Speaking on Ghana's policy document on fisheries and aquaculture produce, he said there was the need to incorporate Ghana's oil discovery into the document to make it complete before it was made public.

He said the issues on oil and fishery go hand in hand adding one cannot be abandoned.

Mr Alfred Tetebo, Director in charge of fisheries, MOFA pleaded with FAO to provide a vessel that would facilitate research into fishing.

Dr Yeboah, who went through a host of projects and programmes supported by the FAO, said the organization had supported the establishment of a Tomato Processing Promotion Centre in the Brong-Ahafo Region that would be commissioned soon.

He said FAO was into Integrated Community Land Management and soil fertility improvement in the Upper East Region as well as creating opportunities for low income farmers to generate more income.

Dr Diouf commended Ghana for her excellent initiatives and called for innovations in the area of food and agriculture to boost production.

He said he was happy that some African countries which could not feed themselves had now tripled their production and are feeding others.

“It is the hope of the FAO that issues concerning the income of farmers are addressed,” he said.

On the issue of climate change, the FAO Director-General urged all to protect the environment.

At a meeting at the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources later, Mr Collins Dauda, the sector Minister appealed to the FAO chief to assist Ghana in its forestation programme.

Mr Dauda said the increase in population around the country's forest reserves was having serious impact that needed attention.

He appealed to the FAO to support farmers in those communities with innovative farming practices so that they did not encroach on the forest reserves.

GNA

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