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25.02.2006 Regional News

Ministry hands over plantation projects to assemblies for management

By GNA

Kumasi, Feb. 25, GNA - Over 24,074 hectares of land have been planted with trees under the Presidential Initiative on Plantation Development since it took-off in year 2003. The programme, which is being funded with funds from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) fund, has so far created jobs for 13,229 people in the system.

Professor Dominic Fobih, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, disclosed this during an inspection tour of some of the plantation sites in the Kumasi Metropolis on Friday.

The inspection was in preparation for handing over of the projects hitherto controlled and managed by the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines to the metro/municipal and district assemblies for management. The sector minister said 3,600 out of the total land sites developed into plantations were in the Ashanti Region, and that the ministry had plantation sites in four districts in the region. He named them as the Kumasi Metropolitan Area (KMA), Ejisu-Juabeng, Ahafo-Ano South and Asante-Akim South districts. "The KMA alone has 14 plantation sites, including a site near the Manhyia Palace", he added.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, who was earlier briefed by the Minister on the rationale behind handing over the HIPC funded plantation projects to the assemblies, assured them of his continuous support of the project.

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