The government is set to create a new database of five million farmers, in order to enhance the private sector to link up to establish the necessary value addition linkage, a Deputy Local Government Minister has indicated.
At the Greater Accra Regional annual general meeting of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the Deputy Local Government and Rural Development Minster, Collins Ntim said theses farmers would be supported, registered, and a biometric database of all farmers and their farm would be established, and mobilized into cooperatives.
The project seeks to position Ghana as a leading producer of cocoa and cashew, in the world, in the next four to 10 years.
For this purpose, the District Centre of Agriculture, Commerce and Technology (D-CACT) has been setup to spearhead the government’s technological, entrepreneurial, commercial and agriculture initiatives through the MMDA’s.
“The D-CACT will promote the agribusiness potentials of the districts playing important roles in directing effectively the private sector into the One-District-One-Factory agenda, with a database of farmers, agribusiness information, promoting and sustaining the planting for food and jobs,” he noted.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry Of Trade and Industry and the Ministry Of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and the Secretariat of the One-District-One-Factory are working effectively to ensure the smooth running of the D-CACT.
The Deputy Minister further indicated that, in complimenting the planting for food and jobs, the planting for jobs and investment has also been initiated as a key strategy intervention to cover the six cash crops; namely Cashew, Shea, Mango, Citrus, Cocoa, Rubber, and Oil Palm, which will be launched later this year.
Under this concept, Ntim said that, the MMDA’s will be required to come out with an agricultural project initiative, taking into consideration one or two of the identified cash crops.
This will support about 10,000 to 20,000 farmers to cultivate an average of 10 acres of the crops within four to 10 years, he added.
Ntim further explained that, the MMDA’s would be required to establish seed banks in the various electoral areas that would raise high yielding varieties of the seedlings as approved for the districts to be allowed to the farmers at zero cost.
To this effect, the MMDA’s would be required to recruit about 100 youths in every districts, who would be trained in basic modern agronomic practices to plant the seedlings.
By Joshua W. Amlanu