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15.06.2005 General News

Ministry of Food and Agriculture to modernise agriculture


Kumasi, June 15, GNA - The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), as part of its efforts to modernise agriculture, will invest 20 billion cedis this year to support small-scale farmers to produce maize. The programme, which will be on a pilot base, is to benefit 10,000 to 20,000 farmers who are expected to produce 150,000 metric tonnes of maize by the end of the year.

The ministry is also to introduce farmers to modern methods of farming, including the use of certified seeds, the control of weeds and the application of fertiliser to improve their yield.

Mr Ernest Akubuor Debrah, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, who said this at a meeting with District Directors of Agriculture from the Ashanti, Central, Eastern, and Brong-Ahafo regions in Kumasi on Tuesday, said the facility would also cover soya beans farmers.

The meeting formed part of his two-day tour of the Ashanti Region. He said farmers have for a long time depended on the weather and said efforts would be made by the ministry to introduce them to irrigation practices to enable them farm throughout the year. "Let us get the farmers organised in groups and impart the modern methods of farming to them to make Ghana a middle income country by the year 2020", the Minister said.

Mr Debrah said efforts would be made by the ministry to rehabilitate the silos of the Ghana Food Distribution Corporation (GFDC) scattered all over the country to help store maize.

He reiterated the commitment of the government to revamp the poultry industry and that the poultry board would soon be inaugurated to enable it come out with measures to improve the industry. The district directors appealed to the Minister to ensure that their allowances and monies used in running offices were paid promptly to enable them discharge their duties effectively.

Mr Christian Adu Nti, the Ashanti Regional Director of Agriculture, appealed to his colleagues to work as a team towards the fulfilment of the new vision and aspirations of the ministry.