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01.06.2005 Regional News

Farmers need irrigation to boost agricultural production-RM

GNA

Sekondi, June 1, GNA - Mr Joseph B. Aidoo, the Western Regional Minister, on Tuesday said there was the need for the country to develop suitable irrigation systems towards the improvement of agriculture in the country.

He said the availability of streams, rivers, lakes and abundant rainfall in several parts of the country, could be harness for farming during dry seasons.

Mr Aidoo was speaking at a consultative meeting to review the second phase of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), which becomes operational in January 2006, in Sekondi. Members of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) attended the meeting, which was organised by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).

Mr Aidoo said the region, with many streams, rivers, lakes, and experienced heavy rainfall, lack the technology to harness them for irrigation.

Mr Aidoo said if irrigation schemes were developed in the region, agriculture would have improved and created employment opportunities thereby reducing rural-urban drift.

He asked the Ministry of Agriculture to assist farmers store their produce to minimise post harvest losses.

Mr Philip Tagoe, official of the NDPC, said new targets would be set in the second phase of the GPRS to boost Gross Domestic Product and to meet the aspirations of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015. He said for the country to achieve those targets, the economy must grow at 6.02 per cent.

Dr Tagoe said the country's increasing population growth, was putting severe pressure on the economy adding, " too many childbirth could create greater poverty among the citizenry". He said there was the need for an increase in the country's revenue mobilisation, proper debt management and also efforts to ensure that the cedi did not depreciate by four per cent per annum.

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