Government tables $3,000 to address technological gap guinea fowl production

Mr Effah Baafi, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, on Tuesday said more than $3000 was earmarked to address the technological gab in guinea fowl production in the three northern regions.

The Deputy Minister said the programme would include 1,650 benefactors within 20 communities geared towards enhanced guinea fowl production.

He identified the donor as the FAO Technical Co-operation Programme (TCP).

According to him the project had three demonstration centres which were equipped for hatching eggs at Paga, Babile and Nyankpala to provide breeding starter keels.

Mr Baafi, NDC member for Kintampo South, was addressing Parliament during question time.

It was an urgent question demanding the Deputy Minister to identify the support the Ministry had for farmers in the three northern regions for 2011.

The project, he stated, was also meant to enhance local capacity for the development of livestock in the three northern regions and noted that 400 selected farmers were being trained after which they would be given five sheep each as capital.

Mr Baafi stated that one area that the farmers were being assisted was the mechanization Service Entrepreneurial Centre in the country and out of this 41 centres were in the three northern regions.

“The establishment of the centre was demand driven, farmers are encouraged to hire farm implements to use at very reasonable rates,” he said.

The Ministry, according to him, had a Japanese grant and had received 125 agriculture tractors, 81 of which had been allocated to the three northern regions this year.

Mr Baafi said the Ministry of Agriculture had a total of 45 combine harvesters out of which 37 were located in the north for use by the farmers.

He said the commercial agriculture project was being vigorously pursued and that it was supported by the World Bank and USAID to undertake the project in the Accra plains and the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) Zone to reduce poverty.

“The recent launch of White Gold (Cotton) Campaign in the three northern regions is an example of such interventions to raise the standard of living of the farmers,” he said, adding that government decided to reform the cotton sector with a view to creating a cash crop economy in the country.

He told Parliament that the cotton belt had been zoned into three and assigned to three companies such as Wienco Ghana Limited, Olam Ghana Limited and Ajaro Cotton Ghana Limited for the production of cotton.

“Our target is to produce 250,000 metric tonnes of lint cotton and this will require that 500,000 farmers got involved in cotton farming across the three regions namely Upper East, Upper West and Northern Region,” he said.

Source: GNA

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