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Regional News Fri, 17 Mar 2006

MOFA, ACTIONAID establish cocoa nusery

Dormaa-Ahenkro (B/A), March 17, GNA - ACTIONAID, Ghana, a non-governmental Organisation (NGO) and the Dormaa District Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) have jointly established a nursery to supply improved cocoa seedlings to farmers at reduced cost. This forms part of measures to encourage high productivity among cocoa farmers in the Dormaa District of the Brong-Ahafo Region. The Cocoa Productivity Support Project, which has entered its third year, has already provided 30,000 improved cocoa seedlings to farmers and has 40,000 more seedlings ready for sale at a token cost of between 500 cedis and one thousand cedis each.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at the project site at Dormaa-Ahenkro, the District Contact Person on the project Mr. Haruna Mahamadu explained that ACTIONAID has been very instrumental in MOFA's efforts at getting closer to farmers in the district. "That the incidence of wild bushfires has gone down drastically in the Dormaa District can be partly traced to the efforts of ACTIONAID", the desk officer revealed. He said since its inception, the Cocoa Productivity Support Project has helped many farmers in the district to replenish their burnt cocoa farms and also cultivate new ones.

He indicated that proceeds realized from the sale of the seedlings has been used to set up a revolving fund to ensure that the nursery project is sustained for the benefit of current and future cocoa farmers in the area. He described the collaboration between the NGO and his office as exemplary and highly beneficial to cocoa farmers and therefore urged families and groups who have idle lands to encourage their youth to take advantage of the project and cultivate more cocoa for their own benefit and for the sustenance of Ghana's cocoa industry.

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In a related development, the Dormaa District office of the MOFA has launched a campaign aimed at getting land to be irrigated for cultivation. Under the programme, the Ministry would sink a borehole costing a minimum of 70 million cedis for the landlord on each five-hectare piece of land to provide sufficient water to irrigate the entire land throughout the year without recourse to any climatic conditions. The landlords and their tenants are supposed to subject the entire minimum five-hectare piece of land bordering the bore-hole to constant tillage to enable them to meet the cost of any credits granted by the Ministry.

Launching the campaign, the Dormaa District Director of MOFA, Dr. Agyemang Atuahene Kontor called on individual and group landowners to come forward and register with the ministry for the project to take off in the district. Dr. Kontor however, emphasized that lands engaged in dispute would not be accepted for the project as the Ministry would not be prepared to involve itself in any land litigation.

Source: GNA
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