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26.09.2005 Regional News

Youth need assistance to venture into agric-Omanhene

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Nsein (W/R), Sept 26, GNA - Awulae Agyefi Kwame II, the Omanhene of Nsein Traditional Area, has said the lack of capital was preventing a large number of the youth from going into large-scale farming. He said though large tracts of land are readily available in many communities, the lack of access to credit, inaccessible roads coupled with the lack of motivation had made several youths to loose interest in agriculture.

Awulae Agyefi Kwame said this at the celebration of the annual Kundum of the chiefs and people of Nsein on Saturday.

He said the agric sector could employ a greater number of the youth, enhance food production and other economic crops but presently many of them had resorted to the cultivation of rubber as out growers. Awulae Agyefi Kwame said to boost agriculture in the area 1,000 acres of land had been released for Community Based Rural Development Projects (CBRDP).

"Many youths drop out of school and government must make deliberate, determined and sustained efforts aimed at equipping and employing the youth."

He decried the non-payment by government of royalties and rents from land on which the Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL) operates within the area.

Awulae Agyefi Kwame said though these monies have been paid by GREL since 1996, the government had not released the monies to the traditional council for its activities.

He said GREL was financing the construction of an office complex for the Association of Chiefs on whose land GREL operates (ACLANGO) at a cost of 300 million cedis.

Awulae Agyefi Kwame said the management of GREL and the seven traditional areas would soon institute scholarship schemes for children within its operational area.

He appealed to the government to mandate the traditional councils to settle minor cases and thus reduce the workload of the courts. Awulae Agyefi Kwame cautioned that chieftaincy contractors could not gain from creating conflicts but rather destroy the institution, the culture and traditions of the people.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mr. Joseph B. Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, appealed to chiefs to work closely with their district assembly members to transform their localities and bring development to their people.

He asked the assembly members to educate their electorate on their tax obligations and other rights while assisting them to support the development of their respective areas.

He said the education of children should be a very important feature on the agenda of every community since without it their development would be affected.

Nana Kojo Kru, the Omanhene of Komenda, who chaired the function, said the youth must learn their customs, usages, traditions and their culture to enable them to defend and impart it to future generations. "If you remain apathetic towards such heritage, your identity and cultural origin would be lost to you and many generations to come," he said.