Agric Minister pushes for large-scale production of local staple crops

cassavaMr Clement Kofi Humado, the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), has called for aggressive push towards commercial and large scale production of the major local staple food crops.

He said it was time the private sector was encouraged and assisted to go into large-scale and commercial production of crops like plantain, cocoyam and cassava to boost national food security and support the agro-processing industries.

Speaking to newsmen after visiting the Amanfrom Farms Limited, the biggest plantain farm in Ghana at Makyiniabre in the Nkoranza South District, Mr Humado said farmers needed to be motivated to produce in large quantities.

He the present over concentration on large scale production of cereal crops – maize and rice, he noted, was not enough to meet the ever growing food demand of the population.

The Amanfrom Farms has planted 100 acres of plantain about half of which is harvested and sold to Accra-based agro-processing firm – Fresh Pak, for commercial production of plantain chips.

Mr Humado commended the initiative and said this needed to be replicated across the nation.

Interior Minister, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, who inspired the Management to go into the venture during his watch as Agriculture Minister, could not hide his joy and said he was delighted by the fruitful outcome.

He urged the universities to train more experts to provide technical and professional support to the production of the local staples.

Dr Ben Banfo, a Plantain Scientists and Supervisor of the Farms, said they were training about 400 local farmers in modern plantain cultivation and production, an activity that was being aided by the Enterprise Development, Industry and Agricultural Fund (EDAIF).

They had opened up opportunities to the youth for technology transfer and scientific cultivation, production and maintenance of plantain farms.

Dr Banfo, who is also the Head of Department of Horticulture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), appealed to EDAIF to support the Farms to construct an irrigation system to sustain its production levels.

Source: GNA

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