4 January 2013

Ghana: Corporate Bodies Should Support Agric - Minister

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey -Agbo has passionately called on corporate bodies in Ghana to invest in agriculture to help provide employment opportunities to the teeming unemployed youth in the country.

He made the call when he toured the farms of the National Service Scheme (NSS) at Dahwenya, Nungua and Papao all in the Greater Accra Region.

Senior officials of the NSS also used the occasion to hand over 2,500 bags of maize to Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) which is expected to be used to feed boarding students across the country. Also, the NSS donated a ten-seater water closet to the people of Papao.

Touching on the importance that the region plays in the development of agriculture, the Minister stated that people from the Greater Accra Region could farm and yield better products, just like those from the other parts of the country.

He added that the perception that people see Accra not as a farming area has passed, "the best farmer for the year 2012 was from the Greater Accra Region", he emphasized.

Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kpone-Katamanso hinted that the government would support the NSS with 11 Yutong buses, worth 3.5 million Ghana Cedis, to help ease their transportation problems.

The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi congratulated the NSS and the personnel for their hard work and commitment towards agriculture, and assured the personnel of ready market for their produce, under the Ghana National Buffer Stock and Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund for import.

He lamented over what he described as Ghanaians' high importation of foreign rice, which money he said could be used to boost the production of other local crops, adding that "Ghanaians preferred foreign rice to our local rice".

The Executive Director of NSS, Mr. Vincent Kuagbenu said the personnel deployed into agriculture in the Greater Accra Region alone harvested over 10, 000 bags of maize, 500 pigs and 15,000 birds, among others.

He further noted that other areas that the scheme can boost of, includes rabbitry, fish farming, poultry farm, ostriches and sheep, adding that the scheme would this year deploy more service personnel into farming.

He went on to thank the various communities for their support and acceptance of service personnel into their areas and urged them to keep it up.

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