The Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekawi Municipal Assembly is set to distribute 150,000 hybrid oil palm seedlings to farmers and persons who hitherto were engaged in illegal mining activities.
The project, according to the MCE was to plant the seedlings in degraded mining sites as part of measures to restore forest cover. But he pleaded with the major stakeholders to include interested farmers who expressed interest in the project.
The programme is expected to augment the government’s flagship programme ” Planting for Export and Rural Development” (PERD) Programme.
The move is also targeted at supporting the government’s Alternative Development Livelihood Programme (ADLP) to offer alternative sources of income for people who were once engaged in illegal mining.
The project is under the auspices of the Municipal Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
According to the Municipal Agric Director, Mr. Augustine Amaning Kwarteng, his outfit was expecting 150,000 seedlings for the project but the exercise has been grouped into two phases to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
The first phase is made up of 100,000 seedlings and the second phase is also made up of 50,000 seedlings. Fortunately, the first phase has started and distribution is ongoing. In 2020, he received 40,000 seedlings and 2021, 57,000.
The Director entreated the youth to take advantage of this golden opportunity.
He continued that the various farmers and miners registered before accessing the programme so all interested parties should follow suit.
The MCE urged the farmers and other growers to embrace the government’s initiative.
He admonished the farmers to nurture the seedlings very well by fencing them.
He stressed that, the source of funding for the project was the Minerals Development Fund(MDF).
According to section 3 (b) of the Minerals Development Fund Act 2016, ( ACT 912) the fund will “promote local economic development projects and alternative livelihood projects in communities affected by mining activities”, the MCE opined.
He reiterated that the youth should venture into agriculture because it is a lucrative business. This move will combat climate change and youth unemployment, he stressed.
He hinted that the project has been in existence for the past four years so he is optimistic that some of the trees are matured for harvest.
The Municipal Chief Executive however commended the various Mining Companies in Ghana for supporting the project through their prompt contribution to the fund.
By: Daniel Akwasi Nuako, Bibiani