PRESIDENT KUFUOR ADDRESSES FARMERS DAY DURBAR
President Kufuor has announced that the President's Special Initiative (PSI) on cassava pursued by the government to diversify the economy has so far provided employment for 14,000 people.
He said, the number of employment opportunities under the PSI on cassava was expected to rise to 100,000 within the next three years. PSI on oil palm, which has also begun, is projected to engage additional 25,000 people.
The President, who was addressing this year's Farmers Day in Ho on Friday, said the PSIs were already impacting positively on the economy and would eventually transform the rural areas.
President Kufuor commended farmers and fishermen for feeding the nation but asked them to move from subsistence farming and its traditional orientation and many handicaps to modern commercial farming to propel the nation towards self-sufficiency in agricultural production and food security.
He said, he perceived farming as a business and urged farmers to adopt the best practices that would assure them success in modern enterprises.
EUROPEAN UNION GRANTS GHANA ¢190 BILLION
The European Union has granted Ghana an amount of about ¢190 billion (18.7 million Euros) for the construction of a 40-kilometre road from Kumasi to Techiman.
An agreement to that effect was signed between the government, the European Union and Taysec Construction Company Ltd. in Accra paving the way for work to begin on the road by the end of this month.
This brings to three, the number of major roads being financed by the EU and is part of a 56 million Euro (¢560 billion) grant allocated to the country for the reconstruction and resurfacing of major trunk roads.
The other two are the Axim Junction to Tarkwa Road at a cost of 14 million Euro and the Abuakwa to Bibiani Road at a cost of 11.8 million Euros.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, said the reconstruction of the road was critical to the country as it served as a centre of market activities for neighbouring countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso.
The Minister of Roads and Transport, Dr. Richard Anane, observed that the reconstruction of the road conformed to international agreements that stipulated that countries that bordered the sea should build tunnels for landlocked countries.
WOMAN EMERGES NATIONAL BEST FARMER
A 75-year-old widow from Agona Nkum, in the Central Region, Madam Afua Frimpomaa, was last Friday adjudged the national best farmer at a durbar held at Ho to mark the 20th National Farmers Day.
For her prize, she received a three-bedroom house to be built at a location of her choice.
She was decorated with a sash by President Kufuor and received a baton from the 2003 winner of the award, Mr. Adjei Twum Bandoh of Sekyere East District of Ashanti.
The first runner-up was Nana Kwaku Siaw V from Kumasi, who received a double cabin cross-country pick-up, while the second runner-up Mr. Mahami S. Asaga from Saboba, had a double cabin pick-up.
In the fisheries division, Mr. Kofi Panyin Eyena, 42, from the Western Region, was adjudged the National Best Fisherman, for which he too received a double-cabin pick-up, Madam Eva Atitsogbe, 42, from the Volta Region, and Egya Kwaku Dadzie, 43, from the Central Region, who were the first and second runners-up respectively, each received outboard motors and fishing equipment as their prizes.
In all, 47 individuals, institutions and organisations were honoured at the 20th National Farmers Day held in Ho.
GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES THREE EXPORT TRADE HOUSES
The Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives (PSI) Mr. Alan Kyerematen, has launched three export trade houses which are aimed at giving value to the country's non-traditional exports.
They are the Ghana Trade Centre (GTC), which has the responsibility for marketing the country's products in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, the Ghana Export Trade Company, which supervises trade mainly on ECOWAS markets, and the Ghana National Procurement Agency (GNPA) Limited, which is positioned to look at strategic trade and marketing in areas such as Europe and the Americas.
In her contribution, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs. Kazuko Asai, said projects failed if they were owned by the government and stressed the need to have private participation.
Mr. Kyerematen said, the government's role in the project was only to facilitate the establishment of the trade houses and assured the Ambassador that the government would not own them.
On his part, the former Minister of Trade and Industry in the government of the NDC, Mr. Dan Abodakpi, said that the NDC fully endorsed the government's policy to facilitate the setting up of the export trade houses, since they had the potential to increase the country's non-traditional exports, as well as make the country's products competitive on the international market.
MODERATOR DEMANDS ORDERLY CONDUCT
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, Rt. Rev. Dr. Sam Prempeh has called on Ghanaians to work towards peaceful, free and fair elections to set the pace to mark an historic occasion.
“Do not forget that we are making history”, he said, adding that “if we vote peacefully, historians will record it, if we circumvent peace and bring chaos posterity will also judge us”.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Prempeh was speaking at the launch of a book, “Cry Justice” published by the Presbyterian Church.
The 240-page book is a compilation of statements, solutions and addresses issued by the Synod, now General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.
The Moderator said, the book contained useful advice and admonition the Presbyterian Church had given to rulers of the country, and political aspirants and politicians could learn from it.
KORLE-BU HOSPITAL DOCTORS SAVE KNIFE VICTIM
A team of doctors and nurses at the National Cardiothoracic Centre of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital last Friday successfully removed a 4.6 inch kitchen knife which was stuck in the ribs of 21-year-old Yaw Kasumah.
It took the team 15 minutes to undertake the surgery after the patient had been duly prepared for it.
The knife, which was stuck in his ribs after he had been stabbed by a colleague during a fight in Nigeria last July, had “been migrating towards the heart” until the operation.
He has subsequently been discharged, after the team became satisfied that Yaw was out of any life-threatening condition.
It would be recalled that in the October 16, 2004 the Daily Graphic published the story of Yaw Kasumah who, had a knife stuck in his ribs which doctors sewed up in a hospital in Nigeria.
The Cardiothoracic Centre provided ¢10 million, while an anonymous donor provided ¢10 million in order to meet the total cost of the operation.