The Akrofuom District in the Ashanti Region is positioning itself to take advantage of the government’s flagship program, One District One Factory, by making raw materials readily available for potential investors.
This was revealed by the District Chief Executive for Akrofuom Mr. Maurice Jonas Woode, when he joined the Member of Parliament for the area Mr. Alex Blankson to distribute 10,000 Coconut seedlings to 250 farmers in the district.
The assembly through its efforts to woo investors to the district had earlier distributed 4,000 Coconut seedlings as well as over 80,000 oil palm seedlings freely to farmers in the district as part of the Planting for Exports and Rural Development (PERD) program.
According to the DCE, the assembly through the PERD programme is seeking to create sustainable raw material base to spur up the decentralized industrialization drive of the government through the ‘One District, One Factory’ initiative.
He said ” factories could not run without raw materials, hence the assembly is focusing on readying raw materials like Coconut and Oil Palm for potential investors”
Youth Must develop interest in Agriculture
Mr. Woode expressed delight in the number of youths who turned up to receive the Coconut seedlings. He said the time has come for the youth to accept the enormous benefit in agriculture. He mentioned that youth involvement in agriculture will ensure sustainability.
He said ” we cannot always rely on mining to survive. I want to encourage the youth of this district to take advantage of the plethora of agric-related programs introduced by this government . This will empower them economically and make them self-reliant”.
PERD will serve as alternative livelihoods to illegal mining
The Member of Parliament for Adansi Akrofuom, Mr. Alex Blankson, said the assembly through PERD will support the government’s alternative development livelihood programme to offer alternative sources of income for people who were once engaged in illegal mining.
He said currently the hitherto arable lands at Akrofuom has been depleted through the activities of illegal miners. He said ‘galamsey’ activities will not bode well for the future of the youth hence the need to take advantage of the free coconut seedlings by the assembly and go into coconut production.
” If you have 2 acres of land, we will give you 140 seedlings and if 1 tree gives you 200 nuts, in a year, you will have in excess of GHc 28, 000 as profit so I urge the youth to get involved and be economically independent”.
He stressed that the implementation of the programme would reduce poverty and improve livelihood in the district.
The District Director of Agric, Richard Kwaku Nyamekye, lauded the efforts by the DCE and MP to get the seedlings readily available for farmers. He urged them to continue to support agricultural development in the district.
He also disclosed that his outfit will deploy technical officers to the farms of the beneficiaries to assist them with fertilisation, early weeding and other technical aspects needed by the farmers to improve their yield.
More women needed in Agriculture
Anastasia Serwaa, a farmer and a beneficiary talked about the benefits of agriculture and advised women to develop interest in Agriculture. She said ” women face a lot of challenges including stereotyping when we go into Agriculture but I urge women to be resolute”.