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03.12.2005 Regional News

Govt urged to assist farmers to undertake mechanized farming

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Fodoa (E/R), Dec. 3, GNA - The Adontenhene of the Kwahu Traditional Area, Nana Asiedu Agyemang, III, has called on the government to assist farmer's with facilities and other farming inputs to undertake mechanized farming to increase production to reduce the high poverty rate in the country.

He said the outmoded method of farming, which mostly relied on rainfall, post harvest loses and inadequate storage facilities was affecting the country's peasant farmers' ability to increase production to feed the nation.

Nana Agyemang, who is also the chief of Abetifi, was addressing the Kwahu West Distict 21st Farmers Day cerebration at Fodoa where 22 distinguished farmers were honoured. He said since agriculture offered employment to over 60 per cent of the country's' population, large-scale mechanized farming should be promoted in the country with the provision of adequate storage facilities, for the country to produce its food requirement and for export.

The Adontenhene advised cocoa farmers to adopt the six-day fermentation period for their cocoa beans to enable the country to maintain its premium quality position on the world market. The District Chief Executive (DCE), Nana Kofi Kesse, said agricultural production and productivity in the country employed over 60 per cent of the nations' work force producing 30 per cent of the country's export earnings and generated 12 to 15 per cent of the nation's revenue but regretted that the farmers who contributed to the immense national achievement were basically poor. He explained that this was why this years' Farmers' Day celebration was focusing on how to boost agricultural production and productivity and to solve youth unemployment in the district. The DCE said under the Presidential Initiative on Oil Palm, the Afram Oil Palm Nurseries Company Limited was nursing 100,000 oil palm seedlings for distribution to farmers to cultivate 1,700 acres of oil palm within three years in the district.

He said the assembly was currently supporting farmers groups with cornmills, maize shellers and driers, a blower, cassava and gari processing machines at Nkawanda Number One, Jejeti Asuoso and Jejeti Station under the support for farmer-based organization programme. Mr Job Asei-Ameyaw, a 42-year-old farmer from Abrotia was adjudged the District Best Farmer and was presented with a 20-inch television set, a standing fan, 20 cutlasses, two pieces of cloth and a certificate.

Twenty other farmers also won awards in the various crops, while 60 other farmers who brought their various produce, including livestock for exhibition at the function were also honoured with a cutlasses each.