Deputy Minister for Local Government, Ntim Fordjour, has paid a working visit to monitor the progress of work on government’s rural development programme – Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), undertaken in the Saboba district of the Northern Region.
Saboba district is among the 98 districts embarking on cashew plantation, of which about 50 farmers are said to be benefitting from projects being carried out in the district. It is anticipated that the entire scheme will attract some 180,000 beneficiaries across the country.
The minister was pleased with the progress and enthusiasm of the beneficiaries and commended farmers for their good work; saying when all commit to the work, the project’s aim to increase employment, food production as well alleviate poverty will be achieved.
According to the minister, government is committed to enhancing crop production to feed the nation, and also export for revenue to embark on its developmental agenda for the nation to grow.
Mr. Fordjour, who visited the nursery-site at Kunjuul – a farming community in the district, urged the farmers to take good care of the beds and ensure the project’s aim is achieved. The nursery is expected to nurture about 100,000 seedlings to be distributed to the farmers for planting for free.
To create a legacy toward realisation of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, the government of Ghana – through the joint effort by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Ministry of Food and Agriculture – rolled out the PERD programme to develop nine commodity value chains: namely Cashew, Coffee, Cotton, Coconut, Citrus, Oil Palm, Mango, Rubber and Shea through a decentralised system.
As a decentralised National Tree Crop Programme, PERD seeks to promote rural economic growth and improve household incomes of rural farmers through the provision of certified improved seedlings, extension services, business support and regulatory mechanisms.
The programme, he said, seeks to create a sustainable raw material base to spur the decentralised industrialisation drive through One District, One Factory. The minister urged all beneficiaries to use the funds received for their intended purpose, so that together “we can work to grow our economy once again”.
George Bingrini, the District Chief Executive for Saboba, noted that residents of Saboba are mostly farmers, and the programme has helped engage most of the youth to venture into the sector as a means of creating jobs and ensuring food sufficiency in the country. He assured that efforts will be made to sustain the programme which can serve as another source of livelihood for the beneficiaries and their families.