The Upper Manya Krobo District Assembly in the Eastern region has distributed thirty thousand Oil Palm and mango seedlings to three hundred and thirteen crop farmers at the district capital, Asesewa and its environs.
The gesture was made up of twenty thousand (20,000) oil palm seedlings which were donated by the Minerals Commission to the assembly, while the ten thousand (10,000) mango seedlings were from Tree Crops Development Authority to be freely distributed to the farmers.
The initiative is under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) program, one of the government’s flagship programs initiated to help alleviate poverty and to create more employment.
The PERD program is a decentralised National Tree Crop Program to promote rural economic growth and improve household incomes of rural farmers through the provision of certified improved seedlings, extension services, business support and regulatory mechanisms.
It is a program being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Decentralisation.
Presenting the seedlings to the farmers, the District Director of the Department of Agriculture, Hilary Alagbo said the gesture was to ensure that food crop farmers are in business all year round and to make additional income.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to take good care of the seedlings, plant and nurture them to mature in time.
Mr. Alagbo advised the farmers to work closely with the Agric Extension Officers in their communities for all technical assistance such as pest and disease control mechanisms and how to improve their yields.
The District Director of the Department of Agriculture was however saddened that some people take advantage of the free program, but do not use the seedlings for their intended purposes.
To this, he said officials will be visiting the beneficiaries to monitor their activities and to ensure the right thing is done.