By J. K.
Winneba (C/R), Dec. 5, GNA - The Effutu Municipal Assembly has presented 5,500 hybrid coconut seedlings to the first batch of farmers listed under the Government’s Planting for Export and Rural Development Programme.
It is expected that by July 2019, over 10,000 seedlings would be distributed to cover 312 farmers in 13 communities of Effutuman in the Central Region.
Mr John B. Ninson, the Effutu Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), who presented the seedlings said, the support to the farmers, under the government’s flagship programme was to enhance the lives of the people and to encourage them to produce exportable crops.
He said the Assembly chose coconut and cashew after assessing the soil and the rainfall pattern of the area, and that, both crops have higher economic returns.
Mr Ninson said the programme was also a means of creating employment for the people in the rural communities.
He said the beneficiary farmers had undergone intensive training on the project and had expressed their desire to work on a total of 121.2 hectares of farmland earmarked for the coconut plantation.
The MCE advised the farmers to report anyone who demands money from them for seedlings and other items to the police and the Assembly, saying that, the seedlings were given free of charge.
Mr Ninson said coconut farming was a lucrative business and encouraged the youth to take advantage of it to better their lots and appealed to chiefs and landowners to release lands to the youth, for the coconut projects.
Mr Hope Kumah, the Effutu Municipal Director of Agriculture, commended the government for the programme, which he said, would go a long way to improve the living standards of the people.
He assured the farmers of his outfit’s continuous engagement with them, especially in educating them on modern methods of farming, to enhance their production.
Mr Kumah said the demand for coconut had increased over the years and this gives the farmers assurance of ready market for their crops and urged the farmers to maintain their farms properly for high yields.