Ofoase (Ash), Feb. 2, GNA - The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has called for the encouragement of the youth to take interest in agriculture.
He pointed out that, if the youth were encouraged to go into agriculture, it would improve the country's economy, as well as promote their standard of living.
The Asantehene said, to this, he had established a 220-acre oil-palm plantation to enable the youth to have some work to do to earn their living in the rural area, so as to minimize the drift to the cities and increase oil palm development in the country.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu was speaking during an inspection of the plantation at Ofoase in the Asante-Akim South District. He assured the workers on the plantation that they would be provided with first aid and cutlasses and would bepaid bonuses to encourage them to work hard.
Nana Otuo Siriboe, Juabenhene, who accompanied the Asantehene to the farm and consultant to the project, explained that the seedlings were planted in September 2004.
The remaining 110 acres of the 330-acre-land released to the Asantehene by the late Ofoasehene, Nana Tiefum Ameyaw II in the 1970s had been given on contract for weeding and the preparation of the land was in progress for planting during the rainy season. Nana Otuo Siriboe said presently, there were 43 workers on the farm with 11 of them being women from Ofoase and the surrounding communities and has Mr Joe Ofori, as the extension officer and Mr K. Dompre, the Project Officer.
At a meeting with workers and management of the farm, Nana Otuo Siriboe praised them for their hard work and commitment that had brought the plantation to that far.
He said the weekly report from the extension officer showed that there was progress and that accounted for the Asantehene's trip to the farm.
Dr Lord Justice Gyamfi-Fenteng, Asante-Akim South District Chief Executive praised the Asantehene for responding to government's call for private participation in the agriculture sector and said the assemblies and traditional rulers, as partners in development was aimed at creating jobs for the youth in the rural communities.
He was not happy that the land earmarked for a proposed irrigation project for the Ofoase town, to assist the youth undertake vegetable farming all year round, had been encroached upon and therefore asked the encroachers to leave the place.
The workers appealed to the management of the farm to provide them with working gear.