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29.05.2004 Regional News

VR Agricultural Advisory Committee inaugurated

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Ho, May 29, GNA - The Minister for Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Major Courage Quashigah (rtd.) on Friday inaugurated a 17-member Volta Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee (VORAAC) at Ho and observed that the region's agriculture development hinges on its ability to transform its land-tenure system.

He said the Committee should therefore take up the issue seriously with the Regional House of Chiefs as a priority.

Major Quashigah said District Assemblies in the region should also show practical commitment to agriculture development by establishing agriculture sub-committees, which have surprisingly been overlooked over the years.

He advised the Committee members to study the Food and Agriculture Sub-Sector Development Policy (FASDEP) of the Ministry as a guide to the performance of the tasks assigned to them.

Major Quashigah asked the Committee to identify and select food items, which are organic to the Volta Region and help to develop them to achieve food security and higher monetary value from those crops in the region.

He urged the Committee to focus attention on input dealers and ensure that they did not adulterate the inputs they sold to farmers while encouraging entrepreneurs who would go into food exports to adopt common identities to ease the burden that they would have to bear individually. Major Quashigah commended the VRCC for coming up with the idea of constituting such a committee and looked forward to its success and replication throughout the country.

The Volta Regional Minister Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa suggested that District Assemblies in the region should interpose between landowners and entrepreneurs in the acquisition of land as a solution to the land-tenure problem.

He said the RCC was awaiting the response from the Regional House of Chiefs to its representation to the House regarding ways of solving the land-tenure problem.

Mr Owusu-Yeboa expressed the hope that members of the Committee would sacrifice their time in the service of the region.

Togbega Gbogbolulu V, Fiaga of Vakpo Traditional Area who is Chairman of the Committee pledged the commitment of members to their task and expressed the hope that the necessary logistic support and co-operation required from the RCC and the District Assemblies would be forthcoming. The Committee's terms of reference are, to advice the RCC on issues of agriculture, identify and analyse challenges to agriculture growth in the region and suggest solutions and act as a catalyst to advance and promote agriculture investment in the region.

The rest are to share experiences derived from various agricultural initiatives, translate district, regional, national and international policies towards supporting agriculture and agro industry in the region, create awareness about opportunities within the agriculture and agro industrial sector for exploitation by the citizenry and design viable sub- projects and any others they would consider as relevant.

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