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14.12.2005 Regional News

Ghanaians urged to step up vegetable production

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From: George-Ramsey Benamba, GNA special Correspondent, Ouayhigouya (Burkina Faso) Courtesy: Wa Municipal Assembly

Ouahigouya, (Burkina Faso), Dec. 14, GNA - Mr. Mac Adams Banda, Wa Municipal Chief Executive has pledged the assembly's commitment to introduce methods of vegetable farming in Burkina Faso to farmers in the Upper West Region to increase vegetable production in the country. "Although we have more water bodies than Burkina Faso, they are able to maximise the little they have for vegetable production, we need to educate our people to embrace the system to reduce poverty in the country."

Mr. Banda made the pledge after visiting some dry season vegetable farms at Ouahigouya as part of his three-day visit to the city, a sister city to Wa. The Burkinabes are engaged in the production of carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, beans, lettuce and cabbage during the peak of the dry season with hand-dug wells and ponds. Dr. Salam Ouadrego, a medical practitioner and a farmer who conducted the Ghanaian delegation round some of the farms, said about one million or 1.2 million CFA were earned per acre of vegetables per season. He said the farmers cultivate all year round with rotation of crops that had made most of the farmers in the area wealthy.

Dr. Ouadrego said tomatoes; onions and carrots were more profitable than potatoes in the area and the Government encouraged farmers with loans at very low interest rates. He said they received loans with 10 per cent interest rate for a year and five per cent interest rate for six months that motivated them to increase their production levels. "Most of the youth are happy because of vegetable farming since employment within the public and civil service were limited and cannot accommodate everybody, " He added. Vegetables are commonly used in restaurants, "Chop Bars" common in the market and exported to neighbouring Mali, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.

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