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28.07.2004 General News

Agric. Ministry selects commodities for promotion

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Bolgatanga, July 28, GNA - The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has selected a number of commodities for promotion, to improve their chances of gaining access to both domestic and foreign markets in line with its Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP). The commodities include rice, maize, yam, cassava, sweet potatoes, cocoyam, plantain, pepper and tomatoes, which have been listed under the short-term category.

Those under the medium to long-term categories include soybean, coconut, mango, groundnuts, pawpaw, sheanuts, banana, oil palm, small ruminants and cattle.

Mr. Roy Ayariga, Upper East Regional Director of Agriculture, stated this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga on Tuesday.

He said the promotion of these commodities was aimed at ensuring food security, providing industrial raw material, enhancing farmers' foreign exchange earning capacity and generating employment, especially for the youth.

Mr. Ayariga said: "In addition to aiding the structural transformation of Ghana's agriculture from subsistence level to a medium-scale culture, this policy is also in tune with the Government's vision of advancing from poverty reduction to wealth creation".

Describing the move as a giant stride towards industrialisation, the MOFA Director observed that the sustainability of industry was largely dependent on inexhaustible supply of raw materials and that a number of agricultural raw materials had been identified for attention. They include cocoa, sugarcane, cotton, maize, sorghum, rubber, teak, fruits and animal hide.

He said MOFA would work in close collaboration with the Ministries of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives, Private Sector Development and Local Government and Rural Development; to ensure that requisite assistance was given to entrepreneurs engaged in the identified industries.

Mr Ayariga observed that for far too long, farmers in the rural areas particularly, had harboured the mistaken notion that agriculture was all about cultivating food crops.

It was one of the priority objectives of MOFA to correct this wrong impression by involving rural farmers in processing, packaging and marketing activities as well, to enable them to derive maximum benefit from their vocation, he added. 28 July 04

Attention recipients, item 02 ends first cast.

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