A project dubbed Livelihood Diversification and Support Project (LDSP), designed by the Jubilee Partners, has been introduced in six coastal districts in the Western Region, to help improve the lives of the inhabitants.
The beneficiary districts are Nzema East, Jomoro, Ahanta West, Shama, Ellembelle and Sekondi -Takoradi.
A total of 372 beneficiaries were drawn from 21 towns of the six coastal districts frontlining the Jubilee Field in the region.
So far, the beneficiaries have been trained in the cultivation of crops and pig farming.
The project is also funded by the Jubilee Partners made up of Tullow Ghana Limited, Kosmos Energy, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Anadarko and Petro SA.
In particular, the goal of the project is aimed at diversifying the economic activities of the communities whose livelihoods are directly related to the sea, in order to increase their income.
Speaking at the launch at Axim, Mr. George Sarpong, Corporate Affairs Director of Kosmos Energy, who represented the Jubilee Partners stated that, the Jubilee Partners chose Building Business on Value Integrity Dignity (B-BOVID) and Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP), to implement the one- year pilot project.
He said the two selected institutions were chosen to run the project on a pilot basis because of their competence in small, medium and large scale commercial viable agricultural projects.
B-BOVID will train the beneficiaries in the cultivation of Orange Flesh Potatoes(OFPS) and Ampong Cassava variety through a new model of socially inclusive commercial farming, whereas ASNAPP will focus on intensive Greenhouse vegetable production and Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO) technology in piggery production.
This, Mr. Sarpong said, was a natural means of ensuring healthy environment for livestock by controlling pest and removing unpleasant odour.
He stated that, with the advent of the oil find and production, several factors had influenced the fishing business that had seen a decline in fish stock, in recent years.
“It is in this regard that the Jubilee Partners have championed this project to support our counterparts in the communities at this time when their livelihoods have been challenged. We want our community members to have other sources of income on which they can rely on aside normal fishing”, he stressed.
According to Mr.Sarpong, the LSDP would establish a database of farmers and farming groups and coordinate the formation of farmers networks, adding that beneficiaries, particularly women, would be empowered to tap opportunity in OFSP value chain and also have security of land tenure.
Market linkages, he said, would also be provided for the produce from farming activities and hoped that the initiative would be a complete success.
The Western Regional Deputy Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Emmanuel Sasu Yeboah, lauded the Jubilee Partners for their initiative which, he said, would go a long way to alleviate poverty in the region.
He advised the beneficiaries to take advantage of the opportunity and work hard to support their families and add value to their lives.
From Raissa Sambou, Axim