Ghana News Agency (Nkawkaw) – Over 2,600 farmers in the Kwahu West Municipality have benefited from the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme to expand their farms.
Speaking at a Kwahu West Municipality assembly meeting at Nkawkaw, Yaw Owusu-Addo, the municipal chief executive, said a total of 400 bags of NPK, 200 bags of urea, 595 sachets of cabbage seeds and 427 bags of certified seed maize were received by the municipal agriculture department and distributed to the farmers.
He said the assembly would do its best to ensure that the people benefited from government’s flagship programmes to enhance their lots.
The MCE said many of the farmers also signed on to the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) initiative and were into oil palm and cocoa production.
Under the Special Rice Initiative (SRI), the assembly distributed 96.5 bags of rice seed to registered farmers to be planted on 241 acres of land, Owusu-Addo said.
District agriculture extension officers had also trained about 300 youth in beekeeping and mushroom production and the use of hermetic storage bags for storing grains, cereals and legumes in the municipality.
Owusu-Addo added that other youngsters in the municipality were trained in the use of modern technologies to apply fertiliser, disease and pest control, planting in rows, planting times and how to prevent post-harvest loses.
He said the assembly also procured 225,000 cocoa seedlings. Out of these 220,704 had already been distributed to farmers. The assembly also has plans to raise 60,000 oil palm seedlings at Jejeti-Asuoso under the programme.
The PERD programme aims to encourage farmers to cultivate six key tree crops (cashew, coffee, coconut, mangoes, oil palm and rubber) as a form of investment. Experts estimate that the state could earn up to US$2 billion annually from each crop.
The PERD programme is also designed to produce raw materials to spur the establishment of factories in the municipality.
The PFJ and PERD initiatives are making a significant impact on the economy, he said, as a result of which the country has reduced its imports of certain food crops.
Owusu-Addo therefore called on Ghanaians to support the government by implementing the various initiatives, which will ensure the country’s accelerated socio-economic development.