Canoes in Ghana to have registration numbers
Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) on Tuesday said all canoes along Ghana’s coast have been assigned registration numbers for easy identification and other outreach programmes.
He said the Fish Code programme under the Food and Agriculture Organisation was paying for the embossment of the first 1,000 canoes as a pilot along the coast while the rest would be done in the course of the year.
Mr Ahwoi addressing the Meet-The-Press series in Accra said discussions had been held with the fishermen who had agreed to share the cost with government on fifty-fifty basis.
The total number of canoes along the coast is about 11,000.
He said aquaculture had received a tremendous response from Ghanaians and local and international non-governmental organisations and proposals were being considered to establish more to make life better for the citizenry.
The Minister said MOFA would collaborate with the Ministry of Lands and Forestry, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies to develop a Country Investment Framework for sustainable land management.
He said an Agricultural Land Management Strategy would be implemented as a tool to address the unsustainable use of land for agricultural purposes.
He said opportunity exists for Ghana to increase the level of competitiveness of its agricultural products in both domestic and international markets.
“The ministry will therefore ensure the efficient operation and management of the modern fruit/vegetable terminal at the Tema port and also construct a Perishable Products Cargo Centre at the Kotoka International Airport.
He said Land Banks were being established to assist potential investors into agriculture and urged individuals and families with quantity of valid lands to contact MOFA.
On Agricultural Mechanization, Mr Ahwoi said tractor services centres would be established to facilitate access to farm power machinery by farmers who could not afford their own machinery.
He said from March to date, 57 applications had been approved for the establishment of agriculture mechanization services and 24 out of the number had started operations in locations across the country.
He said 10 agricultural institutions had been identified to submit proposals on their agric programmes for allocation of tractors and accessories.
Mr Ahwoi said MOFA was rehabilitating 41 dams and dugouts that were breached during the 2007 floods in addition to the rehabilitation works on the Tono irrigation project.
He said eight facilities under the Small Scale Irrigation Development Project, had been completed while 18 were at various stages of completion.
Mr Ahwoi said to augment the 794, irrigation pumps of various capacities had been ordered to establish irrigation schemes along the main perennial rivers with the distribution of 83 irrigation pumps to other communities.
The Minister said the database of all farmers was being built by the Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services for effective planning and outreach.
He said the capacity of Agricultural Extension agents would be enhanced to conduct crop and livestock demonstrations to expose farmers to best practices and proven technologies nationwide.
To reach out to more farmers, he said, the ministry would employ the use of audio-visual mobile vans, and the mass media for agricultural technology dissemination.
“The Ministry will train and equip 1,000 Best Farmers’ Award Winners to serve as sources of extension training and markets to smallholders within their immediate environs.