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07.10.2005 Regional News

Forum on citrus factory held at Oda

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Akim Oda, Oct 07, GNA - A forum on a 10-billion-cedi citrus processing factory to be established at Oda Nkwanta in the Birim South District under the Rural Enterprises Development Programme (REDP) was held at Akim Oda on Thursday.

Under the REDP, at least one economically viable industry would be established in each of the 128 districts.

Opening the forum Mr Frank Kwame Busumtwi, the Birim South District Chief Executive, expressed his appreciation to the Minister of Trade and Industry for promoting the establishment of the factory. He said the district was one of the major citrus growing areas in the country and citrus farmers in the area had cultivated over 10,000 acres of the crop.

Mr Busumtwi said the assembly had already paid 300 million cedis as its commitment towards the project and appealed to the ministry to provide seed capital or a long-term loan for the acquisition of plant, machinery and farm inputs.

This will enable the farmers to maintain the existing citrus farms and to cultivate new varieties in other to ensure smooth implementation of the project.

The project co-ordinator, Mr Eric Owusu Mensah, said about 200 acres of land were available to cultivate a new high yielding variety of citrus.

He said in view of that, the Ministry was working with the Agricultural Research Station of the University of Ghana at Okumaning in the Kwaebibirem District to research and produce a mid-season juicy, disease-resistant and high yielding citrus variety for cultivation.

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