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01.02.2005 Business & Finance

PSI on cotton/sorghum will salvage the North - Adongo

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Tamale, Feb. 1, GNA - Mr Sylvester Adongo, Northern Regional Director of Food and Agriculture has indicated that the President's Special Initiative

(PSI) on cotton and sorghum would address the poverty situation if the PSI became operational in the three Northern Regions.

Mr Adongo said the two initiatives were suitable in the three regions due to the vast tracts of land and the tradition of cotton and sorghum production in the area.

Mr Adongo who spoke to the GNA in an interview in Tamale on Tuesday said farmers in the three regions could get enough money from cotton production, adding that many of the youth who roamed about the streets could be employed in the industry.

He said northern farmers always referred to the cotton crop as "White Gold" due to its importance in the lives of the people. "It is a good crop for food security in the three northern regions and one of the best cash crops for the north".

Mr Adongo said Guinness Ghana Limited had expressed interest in using locally produced sorghum for its brewery. He said the company had identified a sorghum variety suitable for use but its performance in the north had been unsatisfactory due to its delicate nature.

"The variety is easily destroyed by insects, birds and too much rainfall due to its sweetness" he explained, adding that it was important for the PSI outfit to come out with a variety easy for farmers to produce as well as for local consumption and export. Mr Adongo called for stringent measures to protect land and environmental degradation resulting from the use of high chemicals and improper land management.

He mentioned guinea fowl and groundnut production as another areas worth considering for PSI in the north. He called on farmers from the three regions to embrace and patronize the initiatives when they become operational so that the northern economy would develop economically.

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