28.03.2005 Business & Finance

Belgium govt to set up a €320K project at Wli

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Wli (V/R), March 28, GNA - Mr Van Dirk Melkebeka, the Chief of Cabinet for the Flemish Government of Belgium, on Saturday launched a 320,792 Euro-four-year (2004-2008) pilot farming project at Wli in the Hohoe District.
The project, which is being funded by the Social Fund of Belgium Food Industry (VUB), under the Ministry of Social and Agriculture would benefit 500 farmers at both Wli in the Volta Region and Sefwi Wiawso in the Western Region over a four-year period.
Mr Melkebeka said the project would be adopted nationwide if the pilot phase proved successful.
According to the project brochure, the project's aim is to help promote, develop and improve the livelihood of the beneficiary communities through the implementation of poverty reduction activities and the creation of sustainable employment and income earning opportunities.
The project would therefore, assist farmers to engage in all-year-round production of grass-cutter, honey, mushroom and snail rearing in partnership with the International Centre for Enterprise and Sustainable Development (ICED), National Federation of Ghanaians Resident in Belgium (GHANABA) and the Free University of Brussels (VUB).
Each beneficiary farmer would be expected to pay back interest-free 25 per cent of the direct cash provided for the establishment of his or her farm to serve as revolving fund to be used in assisting more farmers in the two project communities.
In an address read on his behalf, the Volta Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Dzamesi decried the gradual depletion of the country's natural resources as a result of improper exploitation. He therefore, expressed the hope that the intervention of the project would help correct the anomaly, which is a manifestation of ignorance and poverty.
" The project will save for farmers some cash, since there is little or no waste in this system of agricultural practice, where the waste in one enterprise becomes an input into another", he said.
Professor Emmanuel Boon, Chief Executive Officer of ICED and the Project Co-ordinator, expressed the readiness of his team to ensure the success of the project and called on opinion leaders in the Wli Traditional Area to assist in further enhancing tourist attraction through the project.
He explained that, the project was conceived in the context of the community good rather than individuals and should be approached as such. The Project Manager, Mr Justice Bawole said a third component of the project would be a community owned integrated farm at Wli for the rearing of grass-cutters, ostrich production and oil palm plantation. After the launch, the Paramount Chief of the Wli Traditional Area, Togbe Ametonu III, installed Mr Melkebeka as sub-chief of the area with the name Togbe Komla Agumatsa I, and his wife as Mama Sika Nubui I, and with Professor Boon as Linguist under the name Asoglo Agumatsato.

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