Mr. Elijah Adansi-Bonah, Chief Executive Officer of Obuasi Municipality, called on the youth of the region to show keen interest in and venture into the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) scheme .
He said the PERD program was one of the government’s strategic initiatives to stimulate rural economic growth to improve the incomes of rural farming households through the provision of certified improved seedlings, extension services, support businesses and regulatory mechanisms.
Mr. Adansi-Bonah made the appeal at a ceremony in Obuasi to distribute about 1,000 coconut seedlings to 19 farmers to help increase coconut production in the municipality.
It also aimed to create a sustainable raw material base for local industries.
Mr. Adansi-Bonah said it was important for all, especially the youth, to embrace the program which has the potential to transform the socio-economic lives of people in rural communities.
The assembly has already distributed 40,000 oil palm and citrus seedlings to farmers in the municipality under the PERD program to provide adequate raw materials to supply a fruit processing plant that was being built as part of the One district one factory initiative.
Mr. Adansi-Bonah said that the Assembly recognizes the importance of the PERD program and has committed resources to it to ensure that farmers in Obuasi benefit from the program.
“We know the importance of this program, so we made sure to provide resources to the agricultural department to obtain the coconuts, cultivate and distribute the seedlings.
We have also ensured that groups of farmers are trained and sensitized on the modalities of the program,” he noted.
MCE said that although Obuasi is widely known for gold production, it also has huge prospects in agriculture, which has helped many farmers in the region win national agricultural awards.
He called on young people interested in agriculture to contact the municipal agriculture department for help.
Mr. Raphael Atta Peprah, City Manager of Food and Agriculture, said more farmers had been registered to receive the free coconut seedlings, which were funded by the Assembly at a cost of 15 GH₵,000.00.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to take good care of the seedlings and ensure that their respective plantations are well established so that the good intentions behind the program come to fruition.
He advised farmers to report any incidence of pests and diseases to the Ministry of Agriculture for immediate control.
Mr. Mohammed Appiah, a beneficiary thanked the Assembly for the effort to help the farmers and advised his colleagues to take advantage of the program to improve their livelihoo