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06.03.2006 Regional News

MOFA to develop irrigation schemes in each district


Fomena (Ash), March 6, GNA - The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) under the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP) is to develop irrigation schemes in each district to ensure an all-year round farming activities.

Mr Peter Kwabena Ameyaw, the Adansi North District Chief Executive, who announced this at the district assembly meeting at Fomena, added that, the scheme was meant to support meaningful agriculture and to create jobs for the youth.

He said as a result it had been agreed that each district should identify suitable irrigation areas, where the traditional leaders were prepared to release land to the youth to enter into farming. "This will be done with the agriculture sub-committees of the district assemblies with the district directorate of agriculture providing the technical support", the DCE said.

Mr Ameyaw said to improve agriculture in the district, nine groups comprising maize growers, grass-cutter farmers and land and water management groups had benefited from Food and Agricultural Budgetary Support (FABS) fund, as at January this year. The maize growers and the grass-cutter producers had 3.571 million cedis each with the water and land management group receiving 15 million cedis.

Mr Ameyaw said another 20 groups made up of about 190 people comprising oil palm growers, gari processors, oil palm processors, pineapple growers, crops and vegetable growers would benefit from the FABS fund this year. Other groups included food farmers and marketing societies, foodstuff traders, palm kernel crackers, tomatoes sellers associations and other vegetable dealers. The DCE said this year would witness the implementation of the programme on youth employment of which agriculture would play the leading role in the programme.

Mr Ameyaw said at least 500 youth would be equipped with technical skills to gain employment in the agricultural sector. Under the cocoa hi-tech programme, he said so far 11,589 out of 12,000 bags of 'Asaasewura' fertiliser allocated to the district had been supplied to the cocoa farmers and these together with the mass spraying would boost higher levels of cocoa production in the district this year.