Techiman (B/A), Jan 31, GNA - The Government is to establish an estimated 10.5 billion cedis central Ghana Centre project for the processing of yam and cassava in Techiman in Brong Ahafo. Mr Ernest Akubour Debrah, Minister of Food and Agriculture announced at the handing over of a tomato-processing centre in Techiman. The project will be financed by the government of Italy with the participation of the government of Ghana.
The Plant would later be transformed into a tomato-processing factory.
Mr Debrah also commissioned a four-billion-cedis irrigation project at Tanoso and a 3.5 billion cedis Asubingya irrigation project that would enable vegetable farmers to produce all year round to feed the centre.
He said the Tanoso project, which had been abandoned since 1985 due to poor management had been revamped by the government and would provide the farmers good market for their produce. The Minister said only 64 acres of the 115-acre dam at Tanoso was initially being developed but gave the assurance that the whole acreage would be covered later.
Mr Debra announced that a special water committee would be established to manage nine out of the 22 dams currently being rehabilitated throughout the country, including those at Tanoso and Asubingya.
He said the Ministry was monitoring the activities of contractors engaged on the projects and asked the people to be sincere and desist from frowning on the achievements of the government.
Mr Fabrizio De Agostini, Italian Ambassador to Ghana, said his country as one of Ghana's European partners was keen on seeing to Ghana's debt cancellation, which, when completed, would sum up to about 42 million dollars.
He said the cancellation was aimed at supporting private initiative, especially in the agro business to ensure that government's support of activities in rural development.
Mr Agostini noted that agriculture, which was the mainstay of the country's development, needed to be developed in line with the aim of the governments of Italy and Ghana to help provide funds to promote initiatives in the creation of jobs, capacity building and post harvest losses in the tomato industry.
Mr Edouard K. Tapgoba, Country Director of Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations expressed delight that the two governments had placed their confidence in the FAO in the provision of technical responsibilities for both the design and implementation of the Centre.
He said the successful execution of the project would achieve two major objectives that would enable tomato farmers to fund permanent market outlets for their produce to ensure a steady flow of income and food security.
These, he said, would also lead to decrease in foreign imports and to reserve and contribute to overall improvement in the country's trade balance.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Nana Kwadwo Seinti, said the government was on track in developing the state.
Nana Opoku Abankwaa, Krontihene of Techiman Traditional Area, who presided, expressed gratitude to the government for bringing more infrastructure to the Municipality "even though they voted against the NPP", saying, the establishment of the centre would help create more jobs for the unemployed and would help farmers to reap the fruits of their toils.