The Bono East Region, with the support of the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority, now produces coconuts in large quantities under the government’s Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
About 851 hectares of farmlands are under cultivation and more than 4,942 metric tons of the commodity are produced annually.
Mr Kwasi Adu-Gyan, the Regional Minister announced when he was addressing a regional durbar organised jointly by the Regional Coordinating Council and the Regional Directorate of Agriculture under the auspices of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to mark the 38th National Farmers’ Day celebration on Friday at Atebubu in the Atebubu-Amantin Municipality of the region.
He said coconut was both a medicinal and cash crop with diverse health benefits for the individual and could be processed into various uses to bring lots of financial returns to individual farmers, families, communities and the country at large.
Mr Adu-Gyan, therefore, emphasised the region would continue to invest in its cultivation to increase the amount of productivity to create more wealth for the farmers and others in that value chain.
He said the region had abundant raw materials and had the potential to produce more through the block and commercial farming ventures to feed agro-processing companies in the region and beyond.
Mr Adu-Gyan stated that would also bring the significant impact of the government’s One-District, One-Factory (1D1F) and other related agriculture policies and programmes like the PERD, Planting for Food and Jobs (PfFJs) and Rearing for Food and Jobs (RfFJs) on the socio-economic lives of the people.
He, however, reminded stakeholders of the government’s limited resources, saying it was thus crucial for the private sector investors to step in and take advantage of those government flagship agriculture programmes like the 1D1F, PERD, PfFJs and RfFJs and their associated enabling environment created to establish value addition companies and businesses to assist the nation’s farmers.
Mrs Cecelia Kagya Agyemang, the Bono East Regional Director of MoFA reiterated the need for particularly the unemployed, both young men/women and adults to enter into farming, saying, “it is a lucrative business venture” and was also the surest way to address the nation’s food insecurity and other socio-economic challenges.
Mrs Agyemang lauded the government for its agro-flagship programmes, explaining that “their implementation has made scarcity of food a thing of the past because there is the abundance of food in the system which is guaranteeing food security”.
Mr Belidon Yaw Ningantor, aged 43 was adjudged the overall regional best farmer and received a tricycle, mist blower, four bags of NPK fertilizer, five bags of ‘Aduanepa’ fertilizer and five knapsack spraying machines.
Mr Ningantor, engaged in both crop, livestock and poultry farming is a farmer in the Atebubu Municipality.