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19.08.2005 Regional News

Co-op Distillers appeal for hybrid sugarcane seedlings

GNA

Ho, Aug 19, GNA - Mr. Moses Korsipa, Volta Regional Manager of the Cooperative Distillers and Retailers Association, on Friday appealed to the government to procure hybrid sugarcane seedlings for members of the association as against the present use of the palm tree for the production of Akpeteshie (Local Gin).

He said the sugarcane would serve as a better raw material for the production of Akpeteshie instead of palm trees, which degraded the environment.

Mr Korsipa made the appeal at a general sensitisation meeting for members of the Association in the region at Ho. He said considering the amount the Association raised for the government as tax from their operations, it was prudent it co-operated with its members for their mutual benefit.

Mr Korsipa called on the government to include the Association in its poverty reduction programme as partners in development. He said, "almost every Distiller or Retailer is a professional farmer and it will be a brilliant idea for the Central Government to use the Distillers Organisation for all farmer based organisations". Mr Korsipa pointed out that the Association had members in every village in the country, which would facilitate the government's efforts in reaching out to farmers easily.

"We have office structures in all the 230 constituencies in Ghana and I believe the government will gain a lot by using our structures to reach out to the communities", he said.

Mr Alex Afortudey, Deputy General Manager of the Association, briefing the members on its mode of operation after years of legal battle from splinter groups, he said the new Legislative Instrument (L.I) gave the Association the sole authority to monitor the operations of distillers and retailers in the country. He said that the prospects of the profession were brighter with the current L.I and called on the Police and officials of the Value Added Tax (VAT) to help check smugglers. 19 Aug 05

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