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07.04.2006 Regional News

Gomoa Maize farmers get Support assistance

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Apam, April 7, GNA - A total of 1,200 maize farmers in Gomoa District have received inputs worth 1.2 billion cedis under Agriculture Production Support Programme this season.

The beneficiaries received seed-maize, weed-killers, fertilisers and storage chemicals worth one million cedis per farmer for the cultivation of an acre of maize.

Mr Francis Kwaku Nutakor, District Director of Agriculture, said the scheme, which formed part of the Poverty Reduction Programme was introduced during the last minor farming season with 165 farmers on pilot basis.

Each of the farmers was given the same amount of inputs for the cultivation of the same acreage. He said the programme proved successful with the farmers paying for the inputs in cash or in kind hence the decision to cover more farmers. The Agriculture Director urged the farmers to take the advice of Agriculture Extension Agents seriously to enable them to maximise their yield by applying fertilisers at the appropriate time to get the maximum 20 maxi bags of maize per acre instead of the less than 10 mini bags they were getting.

He cautioned them against selling the inputs and stressed that they would be defeating the purpose of the programme to reduce poverty if they did that.

Ms Joyce Aidoo, District Chief Executive (DCE), said the District Assembly had acquired three tractors with accessories at a cost of 480 million cedis for hiring to enable the farmers to increase production. The DCE appealed to farmers to form groups to enable them to get assistance through the Poverty Alleviation Fund, which would no longer be given to individual farmers.