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06.06.2004 Regional News

Farmers Get Special Package In Upper East

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Fumbisi (U/E), June 6, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama at the weekend announced 3.9 billion cedis credit facility to be sourced by farmers in the Builsa and Kassena-Nankana Districts to improve food production.

Other incentives accompanying the facility are the construction of four irrigation dams and the rehabilitation of existing ones in the Builsa District to encourage dry-season farming and also check the migration of the youth to Southern Ghana in search of menial jobs. The road networks in the area would also be rehabilitated to ensure smooth transportation of food crops from the farms to the market centres.

The Vice President said this when he addressed separate durbars held in his honour by the chiefs and people of Builsa Traditional Area. He explained that the facility would be lodged at the Builsa Community Bank (BUKOBANK) at Sandema and the Naara Rural Bank at Paga to be accessed by the farmers, who had difficulty in getting funds to go into commercial farming.

Vice President Mahama said the Government was aware of the rice cultivation potentials of the Builsa District and mentioned the Fumbisi Valleys in particular, adding that what was needed was the capital to enable the farmers to develop this potential to the fullest.

In this regard, he said, the Government had acquired about 1,000 tractors to boost agriculture nationwide and charged the Regional Minister and District Chief Executives (DCEs) to take advantage of the new development and acquire a number of them for the Region. Vice President Mahama said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government's aspiration was to give a consistent hope to the people of Ghana through the provision of social infrastructure, such as good roads, education and health, as well as provide a platform to make the creation of wealth easier and feasible.

At Sandema, where he paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of the Traditional Area, Naab Ayeta Azantilow, the Chief expressed appreciation for Government's efforts, especially, on education and health and the provision of infrastructure and encouraged it not to be deterred but to do more to relieve the people from poverty. He appealed to the Government to set up a President's Special Initiative on rice production in his area to cater for the needs of the people. He also requested for the provision of a reliable telephone system, and Government's assistance towards the completion of the Traditional Council building.

Naab Azantilow expressed concern at the slow pace of work on the Chuchuliga - Wiaga road and asked the authorities to intervene to ensure that the contractor speeded up the work.

In response to the chief's requests, the Vice President, who described his visit to the Builsa Traditional Area as a "homecoming", commended the Chief for sustaining the peace in the area.

He charged the DCE to ensure the speedy completion of the Traditional Council building and also pledged to "call to order", the contractor working on the Chuchuliga-Wiaga road to speed up work. Vice President Mahama said the Government was considering the upgrading of the Sandema Health Centre into a District Hospital status, adding that the Sandema Secondary Technical School would be among the next batch of schools to be upgraded to a well-endowed status, which would have a computer resource laboratory.

Earlier, the Vice President attended a durbar held in his honour at Yagaba in the overseas area of the West Mamprusi District of Northern Region.

The Chief of Gbima, Alhaji Iddrisu Agyi appealed to the Government to construct a bridge on the White Volta to link the area to other parts of the Region. The only existing route is through Fumbisi in the Upper East Region.

A journey from Yagba to Walewale, the West Mamprusi District Capital is 180 kilometres through the Upper East Region but if a bridge were constructed it would reduce the distance to only 15 kilometres. He further called for the extension of electricity to the area, as well as the construction of a police station and an examination centre. Vice President Mahama said the New Patriotic Party Government associated itself with the requests, and described them a genuine, and that they would be considered.

He thanked World Vision International (WVI) and other nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the area for their humanitarian work, saying their activities were greatly complementing Government's efforts in bringing the needed development to the people. The Vice President paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of Chiana Traditional Area of the Kassena-Nankana District, Pe Roland Ayagitam, where he announced that 1.5 billion cedis out of the 3.9 billion cedis allocated as credit facility to farmers would go those in the Kassena-Nankana District.

The Vice President is on a weeklong duty tour of the Upper East and Northern Regions. 06 Jun. 04