Wa — About 897,431 cashew seedlings have been distributed to 15,555 farmers in 550 communities across the 11 municipal and district assemblies in the Upper West Region.
The farmers included 2,792 women.
It formed part of the government's Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
According to statistics from the Department of Agriculture in the region, Wa West District had the highest number of communities enrolled under the programme with the figure of 113.
Of the number, Daffiama-Bussie-Issah District recorded the highest farmer patronage of 3,960.
Jirapa Municipality had the least number of farmers, 80, participating whereas Sissala West District presented the least number of communities, 28, for the programme but were prospecting to improve the number in subsequent years.
Throwing more light on the figures, the Regional Crops Officer, Mr Huudu Abu in an interview with the Ghanaian Times at Wa last Saturday, indicated that the rollout of the programme in the region had not seen much challenges.
He stated that the seedlings which were considered as high yielding were distributed to the farmers after being raised by the department for cultivation by the recipients on their respective farms.
Mr Abu explained that, if taken care of, the cashew would survive as they were drought resistant crops and would not perish easily even during the prolonged dry season as was experienced in the region each year.
He however advised farmers to pay attention to watering the seedlings during the dry season to support its growth, and also be wary of bush fires that had the potential of destroying an entire farm, adding that the farmers could rely on his outfit for advisory and extension services whenever needed.