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18.05.2004 Regional News

Agric, solution to economic and unemployment problems -DCE

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Lawra, (U/W) May 18, GNA - Agriculture still holds the solution to the country's unemployment situation as well as the way out of the vicious cycle of poverty among the rural people. Ghanaians, particularly the youth, most therefore disabuse their minds of any negative perceptions they may have about farming, and regard agriculture as a vocation with greater prospects for the willing and determined prospective farmer.

Mr Sylvanus Ganfaa, the Lawra District Chief Executive made these observations when he opened a three-day workshop on decentralised planning for district agricultural development for the Lawra District. The Lawra District has been chosen as a pilot district in the Upper West Region for decentralised planning for agricultural development under the Agricultural Services Sector Investment Project (AGSSIP) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The workshop has brought together about one hundred farmers and agricultural officers to share ideas, and draw up a common plan that will serve as a guide for agricultural development and activities in the Lawra District.

The DCE, who also served as chairman for the opening ceremony, called on the workshop to come out with recommendation as to which of the two farming methods - the ridge or the mound system was not appropriate for the fragile soil of he district.

Mr Ganfaa said if farmers in the district were to make maximum yields, then there was the need for agricultural policy makers to find solution to soil infertility in the area.

Dr Mark Hansen Deputy Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, urged the workshop participants to ensure that the plan that will eventually be developed embraces all the four main policy objectives of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

These include the creation of an environment for sustainable growth and development in the agricultural sector that would ensure food and raw material security higher employment, reduction in poverty and the creation of wealth.

In his welcoming address, Mr Stephen Sinkeri, Lawra District Director of Agriculture said, "it is a novel idea to have a forum such as this where varied ideas can be shared to arrive at a decentralised plan for agricultural development in the district. "It is hoped that the document, when prepared will serve as a guide for all agricultural activities in the district, thereby avoiding the possibility of the annual shopping list during annual work plans and budgets".

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