Government poised to address agricultural difficulties – Minister

Accra- Mr Collins Ntim, the Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, has said government would continue to support the agricultural sector with the implementation of several programmes and interventions envisaged to address emerging concerns.

He said his Ministry is collaborating with all stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme which has enabled farmers to have access to seedlings, vegetables and subsidised fertilizer to expand their production efficiently.

Mr Ntim said the Ministry is also collaborating with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, to establish the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), which is a decentralised national crop programme geared to support the production of cash crops in the country.

The cash crops include, cashew, mango, and the shea to be implemented in the transitional zones of Ashanti and the three northern regions, he said.

He said the essence of the programme is to establish a sustainable raw material base to feed into the industries under the one district one factory (1D1F).

Mr Ntim, who was speaking at a joint forum organised by the Food and Drugs Board and 1D1F secretariat to facilitate Ghana’s industrial drive through effective regulation, said the Ministry has also established the DICAT (District Centre for Agricultural Commerce and Technology) which would enable the decentralised application of research and technology to the district level.

All the thousands of farmers that each assembly is going to support will be aggregated into cooperatives for the private sector to link up to establish factories, he said.

He urged all district assemblies in the country to position themselves to establish a sustainable raw material base which would feed into the 1D1F.

He described the PERD as an efficient support, a regulatory business support and an effective regulatory regime to produce the sustainable raw materials.

Madam Cindy Baidoo, the Acting Director for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said the EPA as part of its effort to supporting the IDIF programme would ensure that developers and activities are carried out sustainably in an environmental friendly manner.

Source: Ghana News Agency