The District Chief Executive (DCE) for the Ofinso North Assembly, Mr. David Asare Boakye, has affirmed the Assembly’s commitment to promoting Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) one of government policies aimed at securing foreign exchange for the country.
Mr Boakye said through the Ghana Promotion Safety Net programme, the Assembly assisted farmers to acquire acres of farm lands for cultivation of over 1.2 million cashew seedlings for free as that would aid in promoting the cultivation of the cash crop and feed the PERD for its sustainability.
Mr Boakye, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Akumanda the district capital noted that the area was a leading crop production community and that due to the climate conditions favouring the growth of the cashew crop, the district decided to promote its cultivation to create better livelihood conditions for the people.
He explained that majority of the people in the area were farmers and with the introduction of the policy serving as a poverty alleviation programme, it would motivate farmers cultivate the crop in large quantities and earn income to fight poverty which has been a major challenge in the area.
Mr Boakye mentioned that about 20,000 farmers has been registered with the Assembly to cultivate the crop and that apart from feeding the PERD it would also supply the one district one factory programme with raw materials to compliment government agro-industrialization policies among other things.
The DCE mentioned that the Member of Parliament (MP) to the area Mr Augustine Collins Ntim has been a crusader to promoting the PERD and has since provided farmers with logistics including Wellington boots, cutlasses, sprayers and insecticides among others to help produce quality yields.
Touching on the agro-potentials of the district, Mr Boakye said the area has raw materials such as honey, cocoyam, maize, yam, cassava and plantain among other things to feed the up springing factories for the production of end consumable food items.
He further mentioned that as part of effort to eradicate bush fires in the area, the Assembly has collaborated with the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) to educate the farmers on the dangers of the cancer, indicating that most people has been trained as fire volunteers to prevent bush burning which could be disastrous to the farms.
The DCE hinted that the Assembly has acquired some farm equipment’s including 2 tractors, 4 water pumps, 10 power tillers and 6 maize shellers to assist farmers cultivate large farms and improve on their output to making the district a hub of cashew, vegetables and watermelon in the country.