The sod was cut on Friday, to begin the construction of a gari and palm oil processing factories in the Prestea-Huni Valley municipality of the Western Region.
The twin-project, an initiative of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Prestea-Huni Valley, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, was funded by the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) at the cost of GH¢500,000 and expected to be completed in four months.
It is aimed at tapping the abundant cassava and oil palm potentials in the municipality to improve livelihoods of women and also enhance their economic fortunes.
Addressing the gathering, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, noted that the fight against galamsey (illegal mining) had affected economic lives of women, who served as carriers and cooks at various spheres of endeavour.
The projects, she explained were part of the industrialisation drive to ensure huge cassava and palm oil potentials in the municipality were tapped to create jobs for women and youth to reduce poverty levels.
“With the completion of the projects, we will improve our social and economic status, the processing plants, an alternative livelihood initiative would transform the economy of the area through empowerment of our women and youth, since women are the producers of resources for the economy.
“Women are faced with social, economic, cultural and personal challenges, it is time we reflect on critical issues and our development processes including early girl-child marriages, spousal issues, female genital mutilation, trokosi, neglect of girl-child education by parents and society and male dominated issues as affronts to women’s development.
“Representative of women in parliament which was less than 30 did not help in effective and efficient advocacy on women issues, passage of both the Affirmative Action and Property Rights of Spouses bill were long overdue and we need our numbers in the House towards efficient and effective advocacy on female issues,” Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi noted.
She advised parents to be serious and ensure proper care of the girl-child to avoid truancy and teenage pregnancy, which would stifle their future development and growth.
Vida Koufie, the Municipal Director of Education, also harped on education of females, which was one critical key to unearth their talents.
Nana Kwabena Amponsah IV, the Divisional Chief of Bosomtwe, applauded the two- projects and stressed the municipality was proud to receive such ventures, which were unprecedented.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, PRESTEA-HUNI VALLEY