Sakyikrom (E/R), Dec. 4, GNA - Three Agricultural Research and Development Institutions in the Kwaebibirem District used the farmers day celebration at Sakyikrom to showcase some of their achievements and imparted modern technologies to them to improve production. The University of Ghana Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) at Okumaning, the Oil Palm Research Institute (OPRI) of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at Kusi and the Ghana Oil Palm Development Company (GOPDC) at Kwae, situated in the district, mounted exhibition of photographs and samples of seedlings and produce. The ARC had 14 citrus varieties and their seedlings of 10 varieties of mergers educated the farmers how to multiply planting materials for plantain of which research had enabled them to produce over eight varieties.
The OPRI also produces the germinated seed nuts for nursing oil palm that had boosted the President's Special Initiative on oil palm and the cultivation of the GPODC which had the largest oil palm plantation in Ghana.
The District Chief Executive, Mr Yaw Yiadom-Boakye said the district had taken advantage of the PSI on Oil Palm, saying whereas 323,491 seedlings were produced last year for the planting 1,644 hectares, a total of 600,000 seedlings were raised this year for 3,500 hectares.
Mr. Yiadom-Boakye encouraged the people to go into oil palm production and said the district assembly had acquired 240 acres of land to plant oil palm with the hope that the farmers would take the cue and let Kwaebibirem become the leading producer of palm fruits and palm oil throughout the country.
On rice production, the DCE said the Inland Valley Rice Development Project at Akyem Krobo had increased production from about 1.5 tones per hectare to about 4.5 tones within two years due to the input support being provided.
He expressed concern that the youth were abandoning the rural areas for the cities leaving farming to their ageing parents and said agriculture had become profitable such that they should go into it since they would be supported to make worthwhile livelihood. The District Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr Edward Kofi Ametepe, asked farmers to adopt modern methods of agriculture being imparted by extension officers and the research institutes in the area.
Twenty farmers received awards with the best District Farmer award going to Mr Kingsley Kofi Agyei of Abodom, who had a 20-inch television set, a spraying machine, a full piece of wax print, cutlasses and Wellington boots. Dec. 4, 05