The Atwima Nwabiagya Municipal Assembly in the Ashanti Region is exposing farmers to opportunities in oil palm production under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
Addressing a town hall meeting at Nkawie, Municipal Chief Executive Michael Awuku Amoah said 421 farmers have so far registered to access seedlings to cultivate the cash crop.
Almost one-third of the registered farmers are women.
“This project is aimed at creating employment among the youth and also diversifying the country’s agriculture,” said Mr Awuku Amoah.
“We have over the years over-depended on cocoa as our export earning produce but we have realized that we cannot put all our eggs in one basket, thus, the need to pay attention to other cash crops to fetch us foreign exchange.”
To kick-start the project, the Assembly has secured 50,000 oil palm nursery seeds and invested an amount of GH¢46,222 on a 683-acre land.
“The seedlings, once distributed and planted by farmers will ensure that more rural jobs will be created, in addition to increase in yields,” said the MCE.
Each year, 2,732 tonnes of oil palm is expected to be harvested.
The Assembly has also received two approval letters from the One-District-One-Factory Secretariat to establish bamboo and fruit juice factories.
The Assembly has facilitated the acquisition of a two-acre land at Mim to establish the bamboo factory, which is expected to create over 100 direct employment opportunities for the youth in the municipality.
“We are working tirelessly to ensure that the one district one factory project is actualized in a bid to reduce the high rate of unemployment in the country,” said the MCE.
The town hall meetings provide a platform for the local authorities to engage with residents and inform them about government’s developmental agenda.
The public is also able to voice views on how best to effectively implement government programmes and policies for national growth.
Ashanti Regional Information Officer Nana Akrasi Sarpong tasked the public to support government’s initiatives aimed at creating jobs and enhancing their livelihood.
By Ibrahim Abubakar|3news.com|Ghana