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04.01.2006 Regional News

MOFA interact with farmers on water conservation


Damang(W/R), Jan. 4, GNA - The Wassa West District Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in conjunction with the Management Aboso Goldfields Limited (AGL) have held interactions with some farmers on land and water conservation at Damang, near Tarkwa. Mr. Enoch Koranteng, an official of the Western Regional Directorate of MOFA commended AGL for their support to educate the farmers on the need to conserve land and water, major issues that need urgent attention.

He said mining, indiscriminate disposal of waste, bush burning and lack of modern agricultural practices, had resulted in deforestation and erosion.

Mr. Koranteng stressed the need for degraded lands to be restored to ensure high crop yield for food security.

He said the introduction of 'proka', which allowed weeds to rot in the soil without burning and inter-cropping were some of the measures of land conservation and to maintain soil water.

Mr Koranteng said MOFA had taken delivery of some maize planting machines known as 'Jack Planters' which were efficient for maize cultivation and would be made available to farmers in the area soon. He explained that the equipment worked well on soils that had not been burnt and advised the farmers not to burn their farms but rather use the equipment when made available.

Mr Koranteng therefore, called on the chiefs to release lands to be used as demonstration farms and other farming activities. Miss Anna Blay, Wassa West District Director of MOFA, expressed appreciation to AGL for the support and urged other mining companies to emulate them.

She said land and water conservation systems improved crop yield and such interactions introduced about six years had been beneficial to the farmers.

Miss Blay said the Government voted 105 million cedis this year for 10 communities within the district to educate farmers on land and water management.

Mr. Clifton Potter, a representative of the AGL General Manager said the company was committed to support programmes that would benefit communities within its operational area.

He said the company had contributed to the Goldfields Ghana Limited Trust Fund, established to assist the communities in the Alternative Livelihood Programme (ALP) including land and water conservation. Mr. Potter pledged the company's commitment to assist farmers on modern farming techniques to increase productivity. Nana Enimil Kuma IV, Chief of Bosomtwe appealed to the Government to release portions of forest reserves in the area to the community for farming. He explained that most of their lands had been acquired for mining and the rest being used as forest reserves and left with only few lands for farming. Nana Kuma advised the farmers to embrace the 'proka' system in addition to the use of manure. Nana Kuma who is also the 2005 Western Regional best farmer in fisheries advised the youth to venture into farming.