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17.03.2006 Regional News

Government releases 1.5 billion cedis to revamp rice cultivation

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Bolgatanga, March 17, GNA - The Government has released 1.5 billion cedis to the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment to revamp cultivation of rice, sorghum, and maize in the Fumbisi valley in the Builsa District in the Upper East Region.

Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, the Sector Minister disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga on Thursday. He said Kassena-Nankana and Builsa District assemblies had acquired 10 tractors each and 1,000 hectares for the programme to begin. Mr Adda who is also the Member of Parliament for Navrongo Central, said so far 500 youth had been mobilized and would be supported with farm inputs such as fertilizers, chemicals, milling machines, combined harvesters and some allowance to enhance the smooth take-off of the project. He said the project was part of Government's policy to create employment for the youth and help boost the production of local rice to ensure food security in the country.

On marketing, Mr Adda said a mechanism would be in place to ensure that harvesting; milling and polishing were done on time to ensure quality standards were maintained to meet international demands. He said the programme would be undertaken in collaboration with fire fighting volunteers in the area to prevent fire outbreaks and preserve the rice straw that would be used to feed livestock during the dry season. Mr Adda appealed to chiefs and opinion leaders in the area to embrace the programme and make sure it succeeds to help curb the high unemployment situation in the region.