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24 July 2012 | Business & Finance

Food producers in Nkwanta want roads fixed


Ho, July 24, GNA – Food producers of the Nkwanta Districts and surrounding areas of the Volta Region have called on government to help rehabilitate the road arteries and the main trunk road of the area.

The group, coming under the umbrella of the Northern Volta Gari Processors Association (NOVOGAP), said the state of the roads was crucial in sustaining the agribusiness chain in the area.

The area which stretches across the forested and the dense savannah zone of the country, is noted for the cultivation of cassava, yams, maize, legumes and vegetables.

A statement signed by Mr Samuel Amese, NOVOGAP Chairman, said the road network was a major setback for their businesses.

He said besides the all year round bad arteries, meandering through the fields, the trunk road to the area often developed bad stretches, making transportation of farm produce a nightmare.

Mr Amese said as a result, gari and other farm produce from the area are often rendered uncompetitive in the markets because of the high costs of transportation.

He called on agencies responsible for the road network to tackle the almost impassable stretches which occurs during the raining season.

“Currently, because of the muddy nature of these part s, our goods cannot be moved to the markets regularly, as vehicle owners dread the thought of their vehicles getting stuck in the mud for days, ” Mr Amese stated.

He said in many cases, bags of gari were carried on the heads or on push carts for several kilometers before meeting a good road artery or the trunk road.

Mr Amese said NOVOGAP was aware of Eastern Corridor road, which stretching from the south to the north through Nkwanta would have inbuilt connections to communities along the route.

He said while government implemented that project there was the need for the feeder roads and the trunk road in the area to be maintained for agribusiness to thrive.

NOVOGAP assisted by the BUSAC Fund had in the past months been researching into the benefits of an improved road network in the area for building agribusiness and women's empowerment.

Stakeholders are Nkwanta-South and Nkwanta-North District assemblies, Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC), Department of Feeder Roads, Ghana Highway Authority, various transport unions, NOVOGAP, traditional rulers, banks, market women associations and security agencies.

The research showed that in spite of the area's enormous contribution to the national economy, it had not benefited much from infrastructure development, especially in the area of roads.

The BUASC/NOVOGAP initiative, using the mass media, seeks to create the awareness on the state of the Dodo-Pepesu-Nkwanta road, and the Nkwanta-Bimbilla-Yendi road as well as highlight the economic input of the road on the standard of living of the people in the area.