The Member of Parliament (MP) for Tano North Constituency, Mrs. Freda Prempeh has cautioned farmers to desist from selling cashew seedlings distributed by the government for planting to improve their living conditions.
She said the free distribution of the cashew seedlings formed part of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s flagship programme Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) to create wealth and minimize poverty, particularly among farmers in rural communities.
But, the MP regretted some unpatriotic farmers were selling what was supposed to benefit not only themselves but the nation in general and therefore condemned that action as “very criminal” which warranted the arrest and prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others.
Mrs. Freda Prempeh, also the Deputy Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection gave the caution when she distributed 150,000 improved cashew seedlings at a cost of GHc450,000.00 to cashew farmers at Duayaw-Nkwanta in the Tano North Municipality of the Ahafo Region.
She said agricultural extension agents (AEAs) have been empowered to monitor and investigate such incidents to cause the arrest of alleged perpetrators to ensure the achievement of the PERD objectives in the Municipality.
Mrs. Prempeh said each farmer received 40 seedlings earmarked for an acre of land, adding that farmers who could plant more than an acre if the AEAs give the green light for additional seedlings.
She entreated those farmers without adequate planting knowledge to call for the assistance of the AEAs to follow the right procedure regarding the method of cultivation and other farming best practices for a fruitful harvest because a seedling in maturity could produce a bag of cashew seed, the MP added.
Mrs. Prempeh said the seedlings were of high-quality type because it was grafted by the Wenchi Agricultural Research Institute and could be harvested within three years of sowing.
She said the effort was being made for Tano North and Ahafo Region generally to become one of the largest cashew producing regions in the country.
Last year more than 100,000 cashew seedlings were distributed to farmers, the MP said and expressed the hope that more farmers would benefit from that package next year.
Mrs. Prempeh announced plans were underway to add cocoa and mango seedlings to the cashew distribution and therefore urged the farmers to vote massively to retain President Akufo-Addo and also give her the mandate again as their MP in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7 to sustain the progress being made in the lives of Ghanaians.