Business News of 2014-02-02

CEDECOM secures Japanese loan

The Central Regional Development Commission (CEDECOM) has secured GH¢1.2 million Japanese loan to boost the production of organic pineapple in the Ekumfi and Mfantseman districts.

The Sugarloaf Pineapple Project, which would also be sponsored by the Government of Ghana, would provide GH¢4,426 each to 220 farmers to cultivate one acre land each for two years.

The project aims at expanding and improving organic sugar-loaf pineapple cultivation to reduce poverty in the beneficiary districts.

According to Mr William Adofo, the Head of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development of CEDECOM, the loan has come at the right time considering the fact that there is a booming market for the organic sugar-loaf worldwide due to rising health consciousness.

He said the 220 beneficiary farmers were selected from 10 communities in the districts, including Ekumfi Abortsin, Abor, Nanabin, Atwaa, Ekotsi, Essuehyia, Fowamanye, Mankessim, Otuam and Techiman.

Mr Adofo made this known during a day’s inception workshop to solicit ideas from all stakeholders involved for an effective implementation and management of the sugarloaf project.

It was on the theme: “Stimulating high economic growth through pineapple production” in Cape Coast in the Central Region.

He said one of the key priorities of the project was to involve females in the production of pineapples, adding that most of the pineapple farms were owned by the men while the women were mostly engaged to work on the farms.

He added that the project was also to increase farmers’ income and improve their standard of living.

He further stated that the sugar-loaf project would also reduce drastically the huge post-harvest losses in the Ekumfi District where pineapples were produced abundantly but went waste due to unavailability of ready markets.

Mr Adofo entreated the beneficiary farmers to fully utilise the opportunity in order to ensure the full realisation of the project.

The Central Regional Director of Agriculture, Gershon Wodzrah, who chaired the ceremony, stated that the sugar-loaf project was one of the key projects of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the region.

He said the project would help farmers to compete with their counterparts on the global market.

Mr Wodzrah admonished the beneficiaries to be committed to the cause of the project, adding that misappropriation of funds for such projects by farmers discouraged the donor partners.