Western Regional Minister cautions against smuggling of fuel

Some 19 farmers in the Western Region were on Friday honoured at the 27th Regional Farmers Day at Nyamebekyere (32) in the Nzema East Municipality.

Mr William Nyarko of Sefwi Wiawso emerged as the Regional overall best farmer and was presented with a spraying machine, a pair of Wellington boots, radio/cassette player and MTN modem.

Mr Albert Samuel Cromwell of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis was adjudged the best regional fisherman whilst Mr Samuel Doi of the Mpohor Wassa East won the best regional palm oil farmer award.

Some 20 farmers from the Nzema East Muncipality were also presented with various awards with Mr Adjablab Tetteh of Asoniti Kroboline emerging as the overall best Municipal farmer.

Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Regional Minister, cautioned farmers against smuggling subsidised fertilisers and fuel to neighbouring countries.

He said such activities are a drain on the country’s resources and undermines government’s efforts to improve the agriculture sector and the lot of farmers and fishermen.

Mr Aidoo said the ruling NDC government is committed to improve agricultural production in the region.

In this direction, 14,041 bags of fertilisers were sold to farmers in the region under the fertiliser subsidy, costing government GH¢188,546. 37.

Mr Aidoo said so far, 1,024 youth have been engaged in the Youth in Agriculture Programme in the region.

He said the country’s fish stock has declined over the last decade due to indiscriminate methods and disregard for the Fisheries Law and regulations on the use of light in fishing, monofilament nets, dynamites, pair trawling and undersised mesh nets.

Mr Aidoo said the new legislative instrument, (LI 1968) of 2010 seeks to address most of these issues and bring sanity into the system to ensure sustainability.

Dr (Mrs) Mary Asiama, Regional Director of Agriculture, said the construction of a structure for rice mill at Ohiamadwen in the Shama District has been completed and the machinery is ready for installation.

She said land development has been a challenge in the Inland valley Rice Development Project which ended in June 2011.

She said land development in the 21 valleys for rice production are at various stages of completion.

Dr Asiama said the coconut subsector has been relaunched under a Restoration of Livelihoods for coconut farmers in Ghana Project in collaboration with ZOIL, a subsidiary of Zoomlion, a sanitation management organisation.

She said so far, so far, a total of 11 hectares of devastated coconut farms have been replanted for farmers in the Shama District.

Reverend James Ackah Cobbinah, Nzema East Municipal Chief Executive, said the municipality is currently one of the leading cocoa producing areas in the country.

He said cocoa produced in the area are sent to other districts because of lack of cocoa depots and appealed to Ghana Cocoa Board to help reverse the situation.

Source: GNA

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