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31.03.2004 Regional News

Awutu-Bawjiase gets Agriculture Information Centre

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Awutu-Bawjiase (C/R), March 30, GNA - The Seventh Agricultural Extension Information Centre (AEIC) in the country was officially opened at Awutu-Bawjiase in the Central Region on Tuesday. The project, which principally seeks to address technological, educational, health, and marketing problems of farmers, was funded jointly by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), and the Awutu-Effutu-Senya District Assembly.

Mr Adomako Ansah Osei-Frimpong, Director of the Extension Division of MOFA, said farmers, traders and the general public could use the Centre to facilitate their activities towards increased productivity and urged the people to patronise the facility. He also said the Centre would promote regular interaction between farmers, show video on modern agricultural methods and techniques, provide farming inputs for farmer, promote farmer-based group discussions and carry out practical demonstrations of technologies at regular intervals.

Mr Emmanuel Kwaitoo, Central Regional Development Officer for the Extension Division of the ministry, said the Centre would reach out to farmers in the remote areas to enhance agriculture production. Mr Samuel Semekor, the Awutu-Effutu-Senya District Director of MOFA, regretted that presently, the district has only 21 agricultural extension officers to handle problems facing farmers and fishermen. He said the facility would enable the farmers share ideas and experiences and to market their produce through the Internet, which the MOFA has assisted the Agona Swedru Agricultural Extension Information Centre to put in place.

Captain Steve Kwame Armah (RTD), District Chief Executive for Awutu-Effutu-Senya, expressed gratitude to the government for establishing the centre, which he said, would promote effective interactions among farmers, fishermen and officials of the MOFA in the area. Capt. Armah appealed to farmers, especially cassava growers in the district to make full use of the Centre to enable them increase yield to promote the Ayensu cassava starch project. He said under the Rural Enterprise Development Programme (REDP), the assembly would focus on poultry, fish processing and pineapple production to create employment for the youth.

Capt. Armah appealed to chiefs and the people to release lands for the projects that the assembly has intended to undertake. The Bawjiasehene, Nai Kweku Osardu II, appealed to soil experts to assist in replenishing soils for increased food production.