The Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality has begun rolling out the Planting for Export and Rural Development Programme (PERD).
The initiative spells out clear strategic action plans to develop seven selected cash crops namely oil palm, coconut, cashew, coffee, shea, cotton, citrus into cash crops.The PERD programme is expected to create employment for the teeming youth and unemployment graduates in the agriculture sector, he added.
Hon Gilbert Ken Asmah, Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Chief Executive disclosed this when he supervised the distribution of free thirty seven thousand cocoa seedlings to hundreds of farmers under the PERD programme in the Municipality. The exercise was witnessed by the Municipal Agric Director, Mr. Nii Otoo and officials from the Municipal Cocoa Health Extension Division of Cocobod
The Tarkwa-Nsuaem MCE observed that the Akufo-Addo led NPP government is very obsessed about agriculture because it has the potential to transform the livelihood of farmers, provide job opportunities as well. The project also seeks to produce and supply sustainable raw materials for the sustenance of the One District, One Factory policy, he mentioned.
“Under the PERD programme, all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are required to develop a holistic agricultural initiative taking into consideration the adaptation of one or two of the seven identified cash crops with a reasonable budget that would support thousands of farmers to cultivate acres of crops for the supply of raw materials to One District One factory project whilst we process some to add value before exportation”, he added.
According to Hon Gilbert Asmah, his outfit have recruited about 300 youth and unemployed graduates for specific crops in the Municipality who have been trained as extension agents to support the farmers to sustain and expand their farms.
He mentioned that the Akufo-Addo led NPP government is very particular about the progress in the agriculture sector, the PERD programme will among other things establish seed banks in the Municipality which would raise high yielding of seedlings, he noted. Currently we are concentrating on the “ABREWA BEDI” breed of cocoa, whilst we look up to introducing other varieties too, he explained that harvesting will be due in eighteen months after cultivation.
He disclosed further; that twenty thousand seedlings of coconut and oil palm nursing has kicked off at Bonsa and Simpa respectively, we have set targets for
2000,000 cocoa seedlings, 50,000 coconut and 50,000 oil palm in the year 2019.
By Dominic Kojo Blay