The Agona East District has concluded the decision to cultivate cocoa and oil palm plantations to serve as raw materials for the one district one factory programme.
Mr Dennis Armah-Frempong, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Agona East, made this known at a Town Hall Meeting held at Agona Nsaba in the Central Region.
The Town Hall meeting was organised by the Ministry of Information in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to create a platform for citizens to express their views on the government’s policies and programmes.
The DCE said the rationale behind the choice of cocoa and oil palm was to entice the youth to go into agriculture and also serve as job creation opportunity to reduce unemployment in the District.
He said the programme could offer over 5,000 jobs to young graduates in the area.
Mr Armah-Frempong underscored that cultivating the two cash crops would encourage and create more opportunities for existing farmers to increase their yields.
The DCE disclosed that an assessment team for the one-district-one-factory programme visited Agona East some weeks ago and had submitted their report to the secretariat in Accra for consideration and approval.
Mr Armah-Frempong said part of the one million dollars for each constituency promised by the government under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would be used to support the farmers and infrastructural development for the factory.
He appealed to graduates from Agona East to come home and contribute to the planning and implementation of the policies in order to produce more raw materials to feed the factory.
He said farmers would be resourced to plant the cash crops, and plans were far advanced to link other districts which produce cocoa and oil palm to supply raw materials to feed the factory.
The DCE assured the citizens they would not face problems in marketing their farm produce as there would be ready market for them and as such there would be no post-harvest loses.
Mr Nortey Wilson, Agona East District Director, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said the District received hundreds of thousands of subsidized fertilizers for the planting for food and jobs programme.
According to the Director of MOFA, the government had also given bags of improved maize seeds to the directorate which had been distributed to farmers at subsidized prices.
Mr Nortey Wilson said under the one district one factory programme, the government has rolled out another programme known as “planting for Investment” to enable farmers to plant more crops to feed the factory.
He said over 10,000 farmers would benefit from the programme which would start in October, and appealed to farmers to take advantage of the opportunity to invest in it and increase their income.
The MOFA Director said majority of the food produce would be purchased by caterers who would cook for students under the free Senior High School (SHS) programme.
Nana Nkansah Duam, Queen mother of Nsaba Traditional Area, assured of the traditional Council’s readiness to rally behind the government’s policies especially, the planting for food and jobs, one district, one factory, planting for investment and others rolled out for economic development of the people in the area.