Upper East hosts Rural Enterprise Exhibition

EnterpreneurAbout four hundred clients  of the of the Rural Enterprises Programme(REP) drawn  from 110 Districts across the country  have  arrived in the Upper East Region to mount an exhibition and  showcase their products as part of the 2014 Annual  REP Clients Exhibition and Trade-show.

The Clients are showcasing a wide variety of technology and skills acquired through the implementation of REP. The mounted exhibition show cased  made in Ghana  products including smocks,  batik , tie and dye , baking and confectioneries, sheabutter,  palm wine , pito  and  small scale farm equipment among others .

In a keynote address, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Kweku Ricketts –Hagan, impressed upon Ghanaians particularly the youth to take advantage of the opportunity offered under the REP to set up their businesses instead of relying solely on government for jobs.

He announced that beginning from next year, 2015, the REP in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) would begin various support programmes to enable young graduates from secondary, technical, vocational and tertiary institutions to go into various agribusiness ventures.

“This is an opportunity for young people to become their own bosses and not necessarily wait for the Government to provide jobs for them before earning a living”, the Minister said.

Mr Ricketts –Hagan stressed that Government considered the event very important since it fitted well into the ongoing national campaign to promote the use of made in Ghana products.

He, however, emphasized that despite the support given by the REP and other interventions to grow local industries it would not be successful if Ghanaians did not patronize locally produced goods.

“While Government is implementing policies and programmes to build this sector, I urge you all to eat, wear, drink and use made in Ghana products. Our forefathers showed us the way through various import substitution interventions such as operation feed yourself which proved that Ghana could become self-reliant”, he added.

The National Director of REP, Mr Kwasi Attah –Antwi , said since1995 the Annual REP Clients Exhibitions and Trade-shows had been creating a platform for Clients of the Programme to exchange ideas and network to improve their businesses.

He noted that the exhibitions and the trade-shows had also exposed a lot of the clients beyond their respective districts and the country to the global level and indicated that the support given to agro business had helped in promoting small scale enterprises in the area of industrial business, farm based businesses, technical and master craft training and linked them to financial institutions for support.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr James ZuugaTigah, appealed to the Management of the REP to support the region  to go into commercial donkey and pig rearing , tree planting  and agriculture production and said the region was not poor as perceived but what was needed was to help tap its vast potential for development.

Source: GNA

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