A total of 100,000 farmers are expected to be registered in the Volta Region under government’s flagship programme, “Planting for Food and Jobs,” by the end of 2019.
Dr Archibald Y. Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, said this at the first conference of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) meeting in Ho, adding that with the current supply of inputs, hopefully the numbers would translate into food sufficiency and impact productivity.
The Council meeting was in fulfillment of a Constitutional demand cited in Chapter 20, Article 255, to hold a bi-annual meeting with Municipal and District Assemblies, Presiding Members, Heads of Departments and Agencies, Security agencies, representatives from the Regional House of Chiefs and National Development Planning Commission aimed at taking stock and chart development agenda.
He said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) through the Municipal and District Assemblies started the distribution of quantities of seedlings to farmers under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
The Regional Minister said about one million seedlings made up of cashew, oil palm, coffee, citrus, mango, cocoa and coconut have been given to the farmers for planting.
He appealed to the Municipal and District Chief Executives to continue to monitor the progress of their efforts and refrain from leaving the task to MOFA officials alone, while praising Ho West Assembly for making giant strides under the programme.
He said concrete works has commenced to construct new and rehabilitate existing irrigation schemes at Keyime, Atidzive-Ayitikope, Kpoglu, Volo, Afaode, Agorveme and the Kpong Left Bank Irrigation project at Torgorme to ensure continuous cultivation of crops and boost food production.
The Regional Minister said stakeholders are working hard for the commencement of the Rearing for Food and Jobs project in the region as soon as possible.
Dr Letsa warned that recalcitrant agents and distributors dabbling in the smuggling of subsidised fertilizers across the frontier into Togo would be arrested, prosecuted and their warehouses closed for such nation-wrecking activities.
He said Akatsi North, Ketu North and Agotime-Ziope districts have gained notoriety for that sabotaging activity and demanded swift action from the security agencies to stem the criminal act.
Dr Letsa said the Council was rehabilitating key facilities including the VRCC main office block, official residence of Deputy Regional Minister and the Residency Conference Room in addition to the kitchen complex, which are in deplorable states.
He said the multi-sectoral support Address Plate project as part of the National Property Addressing and Tagging programme would take place for 30 days starting August 8, in the region, where immovable properties would be tagged with unique address plates to display the number of the property, street name, and the Ghana Post Digital Address.
The Minister said 50 Nation Builders Core (NABCO) trainees would be deployed to each municipal and district assemblies to generate digital addresses and tag the properties free of charge in a national programme to formalize the economy.
He said various projects ongoing under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) at the at locations in the region included seventy-eight 10-seater water closet institutional toilets, 78 community-based mechanised solar powered water system and the construction of 1,000 metric tonne prefabricated grains warehouse.
Dr Letsa said work is progressing according to schedule on the multi-purpose youth resource centre in Ho with physical works at some segments attaining 100 per cent completion adding that the entire project would be ready for use soon.