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20.12.2005 Regional News

Atiwa District benefit from agricultural support programme

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Kwabeng(E/R), Dec. 20, GNA - Sixty-six farmers in the Atiwa District of the Eastern Region are to benefit from a 206 million cedis loan facility under the Food and Agricultural Budgetary Support Programme(FABS) this year.

The loan to be administered through rural banks in the district is to support the development of small-scale agro-business. This was announced Mr Kwasi Osei-Agyepong, Atiwa District Chief Executive at the third ordinary meeting of the second session of the Assembly at Kwabeng.

He said the facility alongside other facilities available within the district were to help develop agriculture, create employment and help reduce poverty within the communities. Mr Osei-Agyepong said the other facilities in the agricultural sector included a 167-million-cedi loan facility for maize farmers and another facility on agro-processing for Farmer-Based Organizations (FBO).

He said cocoa mass spraying gangs within the district had sprayed 23,701 hectares of cocoa farms and were now in the final phase of the exercise that would end on December 23. The DCE said by the end of October this year, the Assembly had collected 303 million cedis from its internally generated revenue that is about 55.5 per cent of the projected figure of 542 million cedis for the year.

He said the amount realised was not enough for a District that was in dire need of many basic amenities and therefore, appealed to the Finance and Administration Sub-Committee of the Assembly to institute measures to boost revenue mobilisation within the district. Mr Osei-Agyepong suggested some of the measures such as the establishment of revenue mobilization task force to raise revenue for the Assembly.

Others were provision of awards to the best revenue collectors, sanctions against those who perform poorly and motivation for assembly members to assist in revenue mobilisation.

He said the Assembly had planned to rehabilitate and upgrade some of the markets within the district to attract traders from other places to transact business to improve on revenue generation at the markets. The DCE said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for the district had begun with the inauguration of the Board of Directors under the chairmanship of Nana Dr Adade Boateng.

He said registration and payment of premiums would end on February 28, next year.