President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged the government’s commitment to support rice farmers in the Bono East Region to increase their production to feed the nation.
The President said he had been in talks with his Minister of Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Osei Akoto, on how the government could support rice farmers in the region to improve commercial rice production in the region.
In a meeting with the Bono East Regional House of Chiefs at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday, the President assured that the concerns of the farmers would be addressed to enable them increase rice production from the region.
He said whatever resources needed to support the efforts in the Bono East aimed at increasing rice production would be offered by his administration.
“It is high up on the list for the Ministry of Agriculture,” President Akufo-Addo said and assured the chiefs and people in the area of his government’s commitment to support them.
The Nkoranza chiefs in their submission, solicited for central government’s support for the region’s commercial rice production agenda.
According to Pimampim Yaw Kabrese V who spoke on behalf of the chiefs, said the strategy of the Bono East Regional Coordinating Council was anchored on the President’s vision to modernise agriculture to improve productivity and increase the income of farmers.
“As you are aware, the region is embarking on commercial rice production. So far, feasibility studies have been conducted and technical teams have also been formed for the project”.
“Nananom have agreed to release the rice valleys for this rice production. We need your support in realising this objective as it has the potential to employ most of our youth, reduce rice importation and transform the existing rice production practices in the region,” Pimampim Yaw Kabrese V said.
He also appealed to President Akufo-Addo to impress upon the Ghana Police Service to restore police operations in the Nkoranzatownship, which is also the district capital of the Nkoranza District in the Bono East Region.
“Mr President, we are grateful for the improved peace and security we have been enjoying in the Bono East Region.”
“For the past four months, police services have been withdrawn by the police administration from the Nkoranza Municipality due to some misunderstanding that ensued between the police and section of the youth following the strange demise of Albert Donkor,” Pimampim Yaw Kabrese V said.
“The absence of police services in the municipality has led to increase in criminal activities and have also disrupted economic activities.”
“Traders are afraid to go to Nkoranza to do business and this is causing huge losses to farmers as their produce are left to rot in their farms. Public servants and the general public live in a state of fear. We therefore, appeal to you to call the police administration to restore police services in the Nkoranza Municipality,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo, in response to the request, noted that his briefing from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) George AkuffoDampare, indicated that the police had not suspended all police operations in Nkoranza, except for charge office services.
“It is not the case that police services have been withdrawn completely from Nkoranza. According to the IGP, it is charge office duties in Nkoranzathat have been withdrawn, that is, if you have an issue, instead of making a report there, you have to make a report in the adjourning community,” President Akufo-Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo urged the chiefs and elders of Nkoranza to do everything possible to address the issue of the youth taking the law into their own hands and attacking police facilities and establishments in the Nkoranza Municipality.
“What we want is that as soon as possible, we can have the police begin normal operations in Nkoranza. Attacking the police station does not benefit anybody. Speak to the youth not to take the law into their own hands when tempers rise over issues in the region,” President Akufo-Addo noted.
BY YAW KYEI