Govt to set up district agric, commerce, tech centres – Ntim

District centres of Agriculture, Commerce and Technology designed to spearhead the government’s technological, entrepreneurial, commercial and agri-business initiatives are to be set up through the Metropolitan, Municipal and district assemblies, Mr. Augustine C. Ntim, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has disclosed.

 

The centres, planned by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation will be the central structure of the district assemblies and work closely with the existing National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI). Business Advisory Centres and other decentralised departments in the districts.

 

Mr. Ntim was speaking here  at a day’s sensitisation forum for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Co-ordinating Directors and Agricultural officers in the Ashanti Region on the government’s “One-District-One-Factory” project.

 

He said the centres would project the agri-business potentials of the districts and play an important role in effectively directing the private sector into the One-District-One-Factory” agenda with a database for farmers and agri-business information for promoting and sustaining the planting for food and jobs investments.

 

The centres, Mr. Ntimfurther explained, had become essential in view of the fact that “all the government’s development interventions will eventually find expression at the district level where the implementation occurs”.

 

“The need to have a district structure well-equipped with the requisite personnel and resources to co-ordinate these initiatives and promote investments in the districts can therefore not be over emphasized”, the Deputy Minister declared.

 

He indicated that the establishment of the centres was also in line with plans by MLGRD and MoFA to promote a Tree Crop Development programme scheduled to take off in the last quarter of this year.

 

Under the programme, the Assemblies will be required to introduce agricultural project initiatives taking into consideration one or two of the identified cash crops in the government’s agenda with a budget that will support between 10,000 and 20,000 farmers to cultivate an average of 10 acres of the crops within the next four years.

 

The objective, according to him, “is to position Ghana as a leading producer of cocoa, cashew and other crops in the world in the next four years”.

FROM TIMES REPORTER, KUMASI.

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