06.05.2005 General News

Government appeals to FAO

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Accra, May 6, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday appealed to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for more assistance and support to construct more irrigation dams in the Northern Sector of the country to boost food production.

He said the Government had put agricultural development high on its agenda and provided the needed infrastructure and inputs to ensure food security for the people but required more support especially harnessing water and construction of irrigation dams for the Northern Sector of the country.

"The people in the Northern Sector are mostly farmers but have one rainy season and with the creation of more dams would take advantage and have two crop seasons to boost food production,' he said. President Kufuor made the appeal when Dr Jacques Diouf, Director General of the FAO, paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu. He said the FAO should provide more assistance to Ghana for the Government to implement its agricultural policies and programmes and in addition ensure Africa was high on the FAO agenda to leave a legacy at the end of his tenure of office.

Dr Diouf, who briefed President Kufuor on the activities of the FAO, said Ghana was one of the countries that had received major assistance from the Organization.

He said the FAO had provided about seven million dollars to Ghana and appealed to the agricultural sector to accelerate its projects on food security, small-scale water harnessing through the provision of irrigation dams, the diversification and multiplication of the pilot programme on livestock production.

Dr Diouf said the FAO had in addition provided about 5.8 million dollars to the West Africa Sub-Region to ensure standardized food production and harmonization of agricultural legislations within the Sub-Region.

He stressed the need for African countries to ensure the commitment of 10 per cent of their revenue generation to promote agriculture as an impetus for bilateral and multilateral donors to assist the African continent to increase food production and food security.

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