Over a hundred thousand cashew seedlings nursed and produced locally in Wenchi have been distributed to farmers in the Municipality under the Ghana Productivity Safety Net Project (GPSNP) initiated by the Wenchi Municipal Assembly with support from the World Bank and the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development.
The 3-year project, which has provided jobs for 207 workers so far and still counting in this first year, is targeted at producing over 500, 000 cashew seedlings to boost cashew production and increase the economic development of the people in the area.
The project is being carried out in five areas as nursery sites namely Nchiraa, Subinso II, Akrobi, Tromeso, and Koase with 2, 500 acres of land. Nchiraa Nursery Site alone raised 43, 000 seedlings for distribution, giving credence to the viability of the programme.
In his address to distribute the seedlings at the Nchiraa Nursery Site, the Municipal Chief Executive outlined the significance of the programme as it is aimed at creating jobs and generating revenue.
The revenue generated could be used for self-help community-based projects in the area. Foreign Exchange earning has also been identified as another benefit of the programme for the country.
The cashew plantation would, again, help reduce climate change in protecting the environment. It is premised on alleviating the underprivileged to higher ground in agri-business and provide livelihood empowerment.
Dr. Prince Kwakye Afriyie also commended the traditional authorities of the communities undertaking the project for donating free land.
He urged the people to uphold, take advantage, and commit themselves to the project for their own benefit. He also commended the field workers for their hard work and dedication.
The Municipal Director for Agric Victor Yao Dablu, whose outfit spearheaded the project said the Agric directorate would continue to monitor and offer extension services and education to farmers in order to reap the intended benefits.
Mr Yao Dablu assured that Agric Extension Officers would be readily available and follow up to the farms of the beneficiary farmers to provide the necessary technical support right from planting to harvesting stage.
The Assembly Member for the area Henry Ameworwor commended the government for the initiative and promised to help mobilize other farmers to benefit with a call on the youth to enter into farming so as to benefit.
The beneficiary farmers underscored the benefits and referred to it as a timely intervention as it has saved money in their pockets.