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29.07.2004 Regional News

ADRA holds Bullock Day for Northern Sector farmers

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Doba (U/E), July 29, GNA- The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Mahami Salifu on Thursday commended the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) for its continued commitment to government's efforts to increase agricultural production in the country, particularly in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.

He said ADRA's food security programme, through which subsistence farmers were assisted to increase agricultural production as well as their incomes, was in line with the government's commitment to reduce poverty.

Mr. Salifu was addressing a forum organized at the Doba Animal Traction Training Centre in the Kassena-Nankana District of the Upper East Region to mark the first Northern sector ADRA Bullock Farmers' Day celebration under a USAID sponsored food security project.

Since 1999, the project has provided credit totalling 676.9 million cedis to 300 farmers in 96 communities in the three northern regions to buy bullocks, ploughs, and carts, he said.

The Regional Minister said the government would continue to give agriculture the needed attention, because it is the main stay of the economy. He urged farmers to take advantage of micro credit facilities provided under the poverty alleviation funds to increase production.

Mr. Salifu appealed to loan beneficiaries under the project to repay the loans promptly to enable many more farmers to benefit from the scheme.

The Kassena-Nankana District Chief executive, Mr. George Danyare, in a welcoming address, said any effort to help solve the perennial food insecurity in the Region was in the right direction towards getting the people out of poverty.

He said as a result of human activities and changing climatic conditions, soil fertility in the area was fast declining. He therefore urged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to find appropriate technologies to address the problem.

The Country Director of ADRA, Mr. Samuel Asante-Mensah said under its current programme, the organization was supporting about 5,000 farmers in the three regions with credit and improved seeds, provision of storage facilities and fertilizers to reduce household food insecurity and poverty.

He said this year ADRA bought 13,000 seedlings of grafted mangoes valued at 195 million cedis for distribution to farmers as part of efforts to boost their earnings and nutrition. 29 July 04

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