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Science Agriculture Estate Programme to begins next year

Accra, Nov. 19, GNA - Government will begin work on a 11,000 hectares agriculture estate under the Accra Plains programme to facilitate sustainable agricultural production and provide employment.

Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning announced this in Parliament on Tuesday during the presentation of the 2014 budget in Accra.

The Minister said Graduate from Agriculture tertiary institutions will be encouraged to participate in the programme.

œGovernment through the Ministry of food and Agriculture will coordinate the procurement and distribution of 180,000 metric tons of subsidized fertilizer to farmers.

œIn addition, web-based software for the smooth implementation and management of fertilizer and seed subsidy programme will be introduced. Furthermore, 4,127mt of seed cotton and 9,472 metric tons of lint will be produced, he added.

The budget was on the theme: "Rising to the Challenge: Re-aligning the Budget to meet Key National Priorities."

Mr Terkper noted that construction works will commence on the Accra Plains Irrigation Project covering an area of 11,000ha, the Mprumen dam and the three dams in Koori, Zuedem and Tankasa in the Builsa District of the Upper East Region.

The Vea Scheme, Dawa dam and the 10 dams in the Volta and Greater Accra Regions will also be rehabilitated.

He said the number of Agricultural Mechanization Service Centres (AMSECs) will be increased to cover at least 170 districts  to provide mechanization services to farmers who cannot afford their own machines.

œOne thousand tractors, 100 maize planters, 50 seed drills, 50 boom sprayers, 10 maize/soya harvesters, 50 rice threshers, 100 shellers and 50 dryers will be procured to support the Agricultural Mechanization Service Centres (AMSECs), individual farmers and processors among others, he explained.

The Minister noted the programme was intended to provide on season and off season employment for holders of agriculture machinery. He also announced that Government will also finance the construction and mechanization of 500 boreholes on farmer fields for irrigation, animal watering, and agro-processing.

On cocoa, Mr Terkper said COCOBOD will continue the treatment and control of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) which has continued to threaten the sustainability of the industry through cutting and removal of affected trees to  reverse the trend of low productivity.

He noted that an amount of GH¢9.7 million had been allocated for the programme and Government will continue to support farmers to replant and rehabilitate cocoa farms in key growing areas which started in 2009 and 2010.

GNA


Source: GNA Story (https://ghananewsagency.org/science/science-agriculture-estate-programme-to-begins-next-year-67412)
Published: 2013-11-19 23:22:43
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