280 farmers within the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region on Thursday, June 20 received 73,170 oil palm seedlings from the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the area Hon. Mozart Kweku Owuh.
Presenting the seedlings to the beneficiaries, the MCE said the initiative forms part of government's flagship program Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) which sought to transform the agricultural sector to provide opportunities to address the economic fundamentals by expanding and diversifying the sector to earn foreign exchange from agricultural exports and generate much needed jobs.
Hon. Owuh stated that, the oil palm seedlings has come as relief to the municipal assembly.
He said it will not only improve yields for export but will also provide the needed raw material base for the oil palm processing factory which has been earmarked for construction at Prestea under the One District One Factory (1D1F) policy.
He commended the Member of Parliament for the area Hon. Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi's contribution to the PERD Program which saw the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources funding the oil palm seedlings project through the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) when she was Deputy Minister by tasking Richie Plantation, a private entity to nurse and distribute oil palm seedlings to farmers in mining communities to discourage illegal mining and provide sustainable and alternative livelihoods to residents.
The MCE urged farmers to ensure successful implementation of this program by using modern trends, skills and management on their farms to enhance and improve the farms productivity to actualize the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda of the government.
He disclosed that the assembly has in its nursery 300,000 cocoa seedlings which will soon be distributed to farmers.
Receiving the seedlings on behalf of the beneficiaries for onward distribution, the Municipal Agric Director Mr. Gabriel Ajaho expressed appreciation to the MDF through the municipal assembly for such initiative.
He said the highest and least beneficiary will receive 600 and 60 seedlings respectively.
Beneficiaries praised President Akufo-Addo, MP and MCE for the gesture and pledged their support to sustain the project.