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25.07.2003 General News

Minister interacts with MOFA staff

By GNA
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Tamale, July 25, GNA - Major Courage Quashigah (rtd), Minister of Food and Agriculture, on Thursday said the time has come "to put new life" into the Ministry to meet the expectations of the people.

He said the on-going transfers of some personnel of the ministry were to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the sector and should not be misconstrued to be a punitive measure.

Major Quashigah who on a two-day visit to the Northern Region, was interacting with the staff of the Ministry in Tamale.

The Minister told the staff: "Even if you are effective at one station you can still be moved around to impart your good ideas to the benefit of the Ministry as a whole."

He said he had personally had any thing against anyone and cited that to transfer a director of the Ministry from Accra to any other place was not a demotion but to enhance work.

Major Quashigah said he had made proposals for ground water development to ensure an all-year-round farming.

He said there were also plans to establish mechanised service centres on pilot basis, revamp the Aveyime cattle ranch in the Volta Region while there was a strategic plan for a grass cutter multiplication project throughout the country.

Major Quashigah announced that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has agreed to provide about 17 million dollars extra financial support outside the normal budgetary allocation of the Ministry every year.

Major Quashigah announced that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has agreed to provide about 17 million dollars extra financial support outside the normal budgetary allocation of the Ministry every year.

He said the offer was on condition that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning would not reduce the budgetary allocation for MOFA. Major Quashiga noted that most projects that the were undertaken by Ministry in the past had achieved very little results.

He said between 10 and 12 per cent of funds for projects had gone into the payment of salaries and allowances of some few personnel of the Ministry.

Maj Quashiga said: "People have executed projects without informing the sector Minister how funds were utilised. Vehicles bought for projects have been sold to project managers at the end of such programmes." He said: ''I will not accept this situation. I want to provide incentives for people to really work."

Maj Quashiga told the staff that: "We have a job to do. You and I are going to change the livestock industry in the Northern Region. It is our duty to ensure that farmers' produce are bought". On the water problem at the Veterinary College at Pong-Tamale, the Minister said a programme has been designed for the rehabilitation of water facilities.

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