12.04.2005 Regional News

Inland valleys rice development to begin in Shama Ahanta East

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Takoradi, April 12, GNA - A new rice pilot project known as the Inland Valleys Rice Development Project (IVRDP) would begin soon in the Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Area.

The Kobinanorkrom-Ehia and Ansteambua-Badukrom communities have been identified as beneficiary communities for the pilot project that would be financed by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) while the Ministry of Agriculture would provide technical assistance. Mr Charles Adams, the Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Director of Agric, said this at a forum organised by the Metropolitan Assembly at Takoradi on Monday.

He said IVRDP would use the fallow valleys in the area for the project and each farmer would be assisted to begin rice cultivation initially on a half-acre land.

Mr Adams said a total of 230 hectares of land had been acquired for the project and the uses of underground water and the development of windmills for farming purposes would also receive attention under the project.

He said the high water table in the metropolis makes it convenient for farming but due to the lack of technical expertise such waters, are allowed to go waste.

Mr Adams said the root and tuber project would also receive a boost to enable it to contribute to increased food production.

Mr. Simon Addo-Larbi, Project Coordinator of the Urban Environmental Sanitation Project (UESP), said the second phase of the project, which is being financed through a World Bank grant of nine million dollars, would be used to rehabilitate some facilities, upgrade community infrastructure, construction of huge storm drains and places of convenience.

He said household toilets and schools hygiene programmes would form part of the project of the UESP.

Mr. Addo-Larbi said 32 schools would be provided with places of convenience while 15 public places of convenience would also be built. Participants commended the assembly for initiating the forum but said delays in the processing of documents and bureaucracy at all the assembly's sub-offices was adversely affecting the revenue base of the assembly.

Mr Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, Metropolis Chief Executive, said the refusal of some communities to release land to the assembly was affecting its operations.

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