The Upper Manya Krobo District Assembly has distributed 30,000 Oil Palm and mango seedlings to 313 crop farmers in Asesewa under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) initiative.
The seedlings included 20,000 oil palm seedlings donated by the Minerals Commission while 10,000 mango seedlings were from the Tree Crops Development Authority (TCDA) for free distribution to farmers in support of the PERD programme.
The PERD initiative is one of the government’s flagship policies initiated to help alleviate poverty and to create more employment to promote rural economic growth and improve household incomes of rural farmers through the provision of certified improved seedlings, extension services, business support and regulatory mechanisms.
The programme is being implemented jointly by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Decentralization to improve the economic conditions of rural communities.
Presenting the seedlings to the farmers, Mr Hillary Alagbo, the District Director of the Department of Agriculture, explained that the gesture was to ensure that food crop farmers had an all year round yield and income to improve their welfare.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to take good care of the seedlings, plants and nurture them to mature in time and advised the farmers to work closely with the Agric Extension Officers in their communities for technical assistance such as pest and disease control mechanisms and how to improve their yields.
Mr Alagbo was not happy about how some farmers took advantage of the free programme but do not use the seedlings for the intended purpose.
He said officials would be visiting the beneficiaries to monitor their activities for the benefit of the programme.