The East Gonja Municipal Department of Agriculture in the Savannah Region has established a 1,713-acre cashew plantation with the objective to promote cashew production in the area and become a net exporter of the commodity within the next five years.
The initiative, which formed part of the Planting for Export and Rural Development, saw the Department of Agriculture in the Municipality engaging 228 farmers and youth groups in the area, who since 2017 had planted 68,524 cashew seedlings on the fields.
Mr Mohammed Tamimu, East Gonja Municipal Chief Executive announced this during the Assembly’s ‘Meet-the-Press” session held at Salaga on Monday, to give account of the Assembly’s activities since 2017 when the government assumed power.
Mr Tamimu said the Assembly was making efforts to set up a District Centre for Agriculture, Commerce and Technology to take charge of the commercial aspect of cashew production such as processing, marketing and export to support and sustain the initiative in the area.
He said agriculture was the mainstay of the people of the area, expressing delight that “Young farmers are embracing this initiative that promises to turn around their fortunes if they sustain the spirit”.
He spoke about local economic development and income generation, saying a six-unit market store and a six-unit market stall were under construction at Latinkpa while a modern market centre was also under construction at Bunjai, amongst others, to facilitate easy marketing of farm produce in rural and semi-urban communities.
On the health sector, Mr Tamimu said an amount of GH¢666,676 was spent on CHPS Compounds at Akamade, Kijawu-Basari, Talkpa, Kulpi, Gurunshi Zongo and Nyishila, adding that, an amount of GH¢222,684 was also spent on the construction of a CHPS Compound at Masaka, a reproductive centre at Salaga and the rehabilitation of a CHPS Compound at Kpanshegu, while a special CHPS Compound was also under construction at Makango.
He said, in the education sector, priority was given to communities with critical infrastructure deficit in their schools, and indicated that two three-unit classroom blocks were under construction at Kunshini and Nachimbia while a three-unit classroom block at Iddrisiya at Salaga is under construction to help improve access to education in the area.
He said extension of electricity to 15 communities was ongoing where four communities including Nikata, Kumabui, Ablekope and Afienya-Kura had already been connected to the national grid.
He said through the influence of Mr Salifu Adam Braimah, Savannah Regional Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Salaga South, the Salaga Water System was upgraded from small town pipe scheme under Community Water and Sanitation Agency to an Urban Water Supply System under the Ghana Water Company Limited.
Mr Tamimu said “this led to the rehabilitation of water system facilities and construction of 85,000-gallon capacity overhead tank at Kpembe” adding that, the Regional Minister had also constructed nine boreholes in selected communities in the area to improve on access to water in the area.
He said toilet facilities were also under construction at Salaga, Bunjai, Kpalbusi, Kpalbe and Gidanturu, as part of efforts to discourage open defecation and promote good hygiene and sanitation practices in the Municipality.
Mr Adam Braimah assured the people of the area that efforts were being made to rehabilitate the Salaga town roads to improve on transportation in the area.