Kumasi, May 13, GNA - The government has so far spent about 22 billion cedis under the President's Special Initiatives (PSIs) to assist farmers.
Mr Ishmael Ashitey, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiative, who announced this, said government intended to channel more funds into supporting more farmers to raise production and improve upon their standard of living.
He was speaking at a meeting with the management of Appiah-Menkah Complex, manufacturers of Apino Soap in Kumasi, on Wednesday as part of his four-day familiarisation tour of some old and new industrial and manufacturing enterprises in the Ashanti Region.
"We are looking forward to establishing larger plantations, which will be a shift from the present small-scale farms to promote industrialisation in the country".
It was against this back-drop, Mr Ashitey said, that the ministry was liaising with chiefs for more lands for the establishment of these large plantations to stem the drifting of the youth to the cities and urban centres to look for non-existent jobs.
On quality goods, the Minister asked the country's universities to set up technology consultancy centres to offer consultancy services to manufacturers and industrialists.
The establishments of such centres, Mr Ashitey said, would enable manufacturers and industrialists to arrange their equipment, organise and manage their enterprises in such a way as to produce quality goods at affordable prices.
Mr Kwaku Appiah-Menkah, Managing Director of the company and Mr Kwame Gyasi, Director of Finance, conducted the Minister round the various departments of the company.
Mr Appiah-Menkah pointed out that there was the real need for the universities to run business advisory centres to help in the technological and economic development of the country.
He expressed appreciation on the operations of the PSI and noted that through it industries could expand and appealed to the ministry to assist the company in the production of citronella for the production of quality soap.
The Minister also visited Pedro POP Cement at Atafoa neat Kumasi, where it produces chalk, Plaster of Paris (POP) and cement for ceiling. He commended Mr Peter Oduro Numapau, the Managing Director for his initiative and advised him to get in touch with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) for technical advice. 13 May 04