The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh has launched the 2019 Oil Palm Plantation Project with over one million seedlings, nursed by the Richie Plantation Limited, ready to be distributed to farmers.
Launching the Project at Dunkwa on Offin in the Upper Denkyira East Municipality on the Central Region, he said the initiative was to assist mining communities in the area to reclaim lands and provide alternative means of livelihood for illegal miners.
The Project is being funded by the Minerals Development Fund of the Lands Ministry with a decentralised monitoring system on progress of farmers.
To ensure active participation of the youth in the project, the Minister urged the youth to take advantage of the project and appealed to traditional leaders to release lands for it, stressing that it would be extended to other mining communities in the Ashanti, Eastern and Western regions.
Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, the Chairman of the Minerals Commission, assured the mining communities that the Commission would regulate the activities of mining companies to ensure they fulfilled their social responsibilities so as not to leave the mining areas in dilapidated state.
Madam Happy Esther Edjeani, the Board Chairperson of the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) Secretariat, said it would evaluate the project to access its socio-economic benefit to broaden and extend it to other communities.
It would also discuss with the breweries and pharmaceutical companies, among others, to increase the use of palm produce to enable farmers have value for money.
Mr Richard Quansah, the Chief Executive Officer of Richie Plantations, said it was encouraging to see the youth stopping illegal mining and engaging in oil palm farming under the Project.
In attendance were Mr Thomas Yaw Adjei Baffoe, the Deputy Central Regional Minister, Municipal/District Chief Executives, and religious and traditional leaders.