By Emmanuel Yaw Acheampong, GNA
Akyem Essam (E/R), May 2, GNA – The Birim Central Municipal Assembly will soon supply 50,000 seedlings to 628 farmers to expand their oil palm farms.
New farmers have therefore been encouraged to participate in the production of palm fruits and palm oil under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) policy.
The Assembly has also planned to expand the production of oil palm and ultimately make the Municipality a major producer of oil palm in the country.
This was announced by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Kwabena Bempong when he visited the Essam nursery site where some 10,000 seedlings were being nursed for distribution to farmers for free.
He was accompanied by the Municipal Coordinating Director, Mr Douglas N.K. Annoful, the Municipal Agric Director, Mr Isaac Mann, the Assembly Member of the area, Mr Dennis Obeng Agyei and some staff of the Assembly.
Some comunities that have been earmarked to receive the additional seedlings include, Gyadem, Oda Nkwanta, Aboabo, Old Town and Community Six.
Mr Bempong said the project would also build a raw material base for the establishment of an oil palm factory in the Municipality under the One-District, One-Factory initiative of government.
He indicated that the beneficiary farmers of the seedlings would also receive extension services and subsidized fertilizer distribution to enable them expand their farms into huge commercial ones.
He however used the opportunity to encourage all, particularly the youth to take advantage of the initiative to enter into cash crop farming for local processing to support the export drive of the country as well improve their livelihood.
Mr Isaac Mann, the Municipal Agric Director said the Assembly is determined to help farmers embark on massive cultivation of oil palm because they had comparative advantage.
He disclosed that very soon, his office would embark on sensitization programme to increase the participation of farmers in the project.
As a measure towards full implementation of PERD, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is targeting to raise 4,139 million seedlings of six selected crops in 191 districts on a total land size of 32,591 hectares in five years.
The breakdown of the seedlings are, 2.5 million cashew seedlings in 98 districts over 25,000 hectares of land.
1 million seedlings of oil palm are expected to be raised in 30 districts while 555,000 rubber seedlings would be grown in 10 districts, with 45,000 seedlings of coffee earmarked to be grown in 4 districts.
In addition, 24,000 seedlings of coconut are to be nursed for planting in 35 districts and 15,000 seedlings of shea in 14 districts.