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26.08.2019 Regional News

Eni, Dormaa East District Assembly Sensitize Stakeholders Of ‘Okuafo Pa’ Project

By Linda Osei-Fobi

Dormaa East District in collaboration with Eni has held a day’s sensitization meeting for stakeholders of the Okuafo Pa Project at Kyeremaasu in Dormaa East of the Bono Region.

The stakeholders include traditional authorities, farmers, assembly members, potentials trainees, the media and others.

The programme was to enable participants appreciate the progress of work on the 'Okuafo Pa' project.

The 'Okuafo Pa' project is a multi-million cedis Agriculture Training Center being established at Kyeremaasu in the Dormaa East District by Eni and the Government of Ghana. It comprises an 800 capacity lecture hall, workshop centers, administration block and classrooms as well as modern storage facilities and other utilities.

In March this year, the Italian Ambassador to Ghana and Government of Ghana represented by the Minister of Planning cut sod for the construction of the project and barely five months now, the project is ready for use.

The project seeks to support Ghana’s sustainable development agenda to promote the socio-economic growth of the country. It is aligned to the UN’s 2030 agenda for Sustenance and Development and the Government of Ghana’s programme,‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ which is intended to also offer local farmers the opportunity to access quality training.

In response to some questions at the meeting, the representative of Eni, Mr. Paul Twum Barimah, said educational programmes would cover agribusiness, poultry and diversified agriculture development.

He added, the project would also facilitate access to micro credit finance and labour market.

Mr Twum Barimah explained the center is affiliated to the KNUST Faculty of Agriculture Science and admissions have already been done for applicants across the Bono Region for the training to begin in October this year.

He added that the academic structure would last a year, with each present trainee receiving six dollars ($6) equivalent to Gh₵30 each day as allowance, aside the free admissions, free tuition, free transport and feeding at KNUST for workshops and practices among others.

He was grateful to Nananom and the District Assembly for considering the project as very important and giving out land to start it.

Questions and concerns by participants revolved around accommodation of the trainees, the micro credit financing, employment opportunities, administration and operations of the school, handling post-harvest losses and mode of admissions.

The District Chief Executive, Hon. Emmanuel Kofi Agyeman was very thankful to Nananom and farmers who gave land for the training center.

He explained the project is first of its kind in Ghana and the Sub Saharan Africa Region, which would define a sustainable model to be replicated in other regions of Ghana and elsewhere and the people of Dormaa East are bless to have been the first recipient.

He noted it will go a long way to give employable skills to especially the youth, hence preventing them from seeking foreign greener pasture through dangerous routes which sometimes cost them their lives.

He was optimistic the project would assist in the expansion of government’s agriculture flagship programmes while engaging the rural farmer and others with many employment opportunities.

He called on the people of Kyermaasu to be of good character and hospitable as the center will draw many from far and near to the town.

In a separate event, the DCE, ceased the opportunity to swear in a neighborhood watch committee which would complement the effort of the poloce to combat the upsurge of crime in Kyeremaasu.

Eni is an Italian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Rome. It operates in 79 countries and currently the 11th largest industrial company. Okuafo pa project is just one of its social responsibilities in partnership with governments in countries it operates.