A total of 300,000 improved cashew seedlings are expected to be distributed freely to thousands of farmers in the Dormaa East District of the Bono Region by the end of 2020.
The exercise forms part of the implementation of government’s flagship programme ‘Planting for Export and Rural Development’ (PERD) which seeks to promote rural economic growth and improve household incomes of rural farmers through the cultivation of cash crops like cashew, mango, shea, cotton, rubber and coffee.
The Dormaa East District through its Agricultural Department has started the 2020 exercise with distribution of 108,000 cashew seedlings. The rest would be given out to interested farmers in the course of the year.
Launching the project at Baakrom, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Dormaa East, Emmanuel Kofi Agyeman, said the move is in line with government’s agriculture transformational agenda, job creation to stimulate the rural economy and production of reliable and sustainable raw material base for the revival of cashew processing in the country.
He noted that since PERD was launched, the district has distributed 205,700 certified seedlings to farmers in 2018 and 480,800 in 2019, indicating that as a rural agrarian economy, it has become imperative to leverage the programme to develop the district to improve the welfare of the people. The DEC urged the youth to embrace PERD as an opportunity to change their fortunes.
The Dormaa East District Director of Agriculture, Gilbert Sonkpe, on his part, advised farmers to frequently seek extension services and adopt good agronomic practices to maximise yields to reap their investments as well as help government realise its dream.
The farmers commended government for the PERD initiative, aimed at making them [rural folk] more productive and economically resourceful. They however appealed to the government to fast-track the establishment and inauguration of the Tree Crop Development Authority to deal with pressing issue like price volatility of raw cashew nuts (RCN).