MOFA Supports Private Sector Food Crop Production

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The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) is to support the private sector to go into commercial production of the major staples.

Mr Clement Kofi Humado, the sector minister, who made this known, said crops such as plantain, cocoyam and cassava, whose production had traditionally been on subsistence basis, were now in high demand from agro- processing companies, some of whom were into export.

The minister stated this during a visit to Ghana?s biggest plantain plantation at Makyiniabre in the Nkoranza South District in the Brong Ahafo Region last Monday.

The plantation, which belongs to Amanfrom Farms Limited, currently covers 50 acres and managers of the farms are in the process of planting additional 50 acres.

Produce from the plantation have ready market in Fresh-Pak Company, an agro processing company in Accra, which produces plantation chips for both the local and international markets.

Mr Humado said in the past, attention had been on production on large scale production of cereals, and indicated that the time had come for other staples to be given similar attention.

He urged farmers to see agriculture as a business venture and adopt the right approaches to improve their operations.

He said the need to diversify food crop production had become more crucial than before as Ghana moved to obtain food security.

Plantain is a very important food crop in Ghana, which is eaten in  almost every household.

Due to the high demand for plantain, cultivating the crop has become one sure way of making good incomes.

Plantain is the only food crop that contains iron (fe) which the human body completely uses and, therefore, it is medically recommended for patients with high blood pressure.

Mr Humado commended the company for the initiative and gave an assurance that the ministry would give them all the needed support to expand.

The Interior Minister, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, who encouraged the company to enter into the plantation project when he was the Minister of Agriculture, said if each of the six plantain regions of the country were to get similar projects ,the future of food sustainability would be very bright for Ghana.

Mr Ahwoi praised the Managing Director of Amanfrom farms, Mr K. Nsafoa-Poku, for his foresight stating that, ?He is the type of business-minded people in the agriculture sector the nation wants.?

Speaking on behalf of the MD, a plantation scientist, Dr Ben K.B. Banful, who is offering technical support to the farm, said the plantation was located in a transition zone  where rainfall was erratic.

Dr Banful, who is also senior lecturer at the Department of Horticulture at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), said  Amanfrom Farms had trained 437 farmers in the area in modern plantation production.

Via: DailyGraphic

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