The Atiwa East District Planning Coordinating Unit under the leadership of Mr. Simon Asare, the District Coordinating Director embarked on a project monitoring exercise.
The team visited Planting for Exports and Rural Development (PERD) and Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) beneficiary farms at Frimponso, Awosoase, and Vanderpouy located at the Atiwa East District in the Eastern region of Ghana.
In 2019, the district nursed 20,000 palm seeds under the PERD program and over 400 farmers benefited from this program within the district. The team inspected some farms to assess how farmers were maintaining the palm seedlings they were given. They were impressed with the progress of the palm plantation.
The District Chief Executive, Hon Lawyer Kwabena Panin Nkansah commended the farmers for good work done. The farmers requested for more seedlings since they still had vast farmlands for bigger plantation.
The DCE informed the farmers that the District Assembly in collaboration with the department of agriculture under the PERD programme is currently working on 20,000 more palm seedlings for the district. He promised that the PERD program was going to continue as long as farmers are dedicated to maintaining the farms.
On the Planting for Food and Jobs beneficiary farms, the team inspected maize, pepper, cabbage, and okra farms. The farmers were grateful to the government for the PFJ programme.
They were glad for the reduction in the cost of fertilizer and planting seeds. The team was impressed with the work that had been done on the farms they inspected.
The team met the Awosoase oil palm farmers and processors association. The DCE commended the association for the initiative to process oil palm in the district.
He noted that oil palm processing had the potential to be done on a large scale. He explained that because of the PERD program, the district will soon need more processing industries to process palm oil.
He explained that palm oil could be used for soap making and food and this promises a large market for palm oil. Hon Lawyer Kwabena Panin Nkansah promised the group cement bags to improve the hygienic conditions of the processing area.
The rice farmers pleaded with the district assembly to assist them with nets and a rice thresher. The farmers said, they had to travel to Kumasi to get a thresher after the rice they grow is harvested.
The DCE said that the district is working on getting a thresher. He added that a satellite market was going to be raised for the district around the Sekyere toll booth area and that promises a large market for the local rice.
The DCE took the opportunity to advise the farmers to protect themselves from Covid-19 and observe all the safety protocols as directed by the World Health Organisation and the Ghana Health Service. He expressed how the nation depends on farmers to continue producing our healthy local foods.