Ghana starts housing project for cocoa farmers

Nii Nortey Dua, the Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing , has inaugurated three-bed room self-contained housing project for cocoa farmers at Kadjebi.

It is to afford cocoa farmers the opportunity to own decent accommodation at modest cost.

Nii Dua explained that the project was to increase the overall productivity of farmers to reflect on their status as key development partners in enhancing national development.

He said the Department of Rural Housing (DRH) was tasked to start the project on pilot basis in the Western Region and was started in Amenfi East, Aowin-Suaman and Bia districts.

He said the second phase of additional 19 houses had been inaugurated in three other Regions financed by Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD). These are five in the Central Region, seven each in Brong Ahafo and Ashanti Regions.

Nii Dua said the third phase of the project would start when additional funding is provided by COCOBOD to DRH to construct 26 houses across five of the six cocoa growing Regions.

There will be six houses in the Brong-Ahafo Region and five houses each in Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Volta Regions.

He said 20 out of the 26 houses have been completed and ready for inauguration while six others are at various stages of completion.

Nii Dua said an implementation strategy for the scheme involved an agreement between the government as the financier, Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) as Fund Manager while DRH was to provide technical advice in the use of improved local building materials.

He said to ensure its sustainability ADB was required to recover the loans for other beneficiaries under the scheme.

Nii Dua explained that after the house had been handed over to the beneficiaries, the loans were to be re-paid over a period of 10 years at 10 per cent simple interest with grace period of three months.

Mrs Debora Kuwonu, the Director of DRH,  said the department would fulfill its mission through maintaining high standard of excellence and competence in providing and facilitating access to decent shelter and providing on-the job training in building and construction skills.

She said the department was faced with litigation challenges over land for the projects, non-performance of sub-contractors and disagreement with beneficiaries over the building designs and room sizes.

Mr Opoku Mensah Kofi, a beneficiary expressed appreciation for the project and appealed to the youth to go into agriculture since it is the backbone of the economy.

Source: GNA

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