The Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipal Assembly has distributed 20,000 coconut seedlings to 231 farmers in the municipality in support of the government’s Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.

Presenting the seedlings to the candidate farmers for` the programme in Elmina yesterday, the KEEA Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Appiah Korang, said the programme was aimed at establishing a raw material base for local industries.

He said the assembly would support agriculture, as it had a lot of benefits for the people.

He urged farmers to be patient with the government, since “what we have begun is a continuing process that will benefit the majority of our people”.

He persuaded traditional authorities to release more land to farmers for the programme, saying “it is a national programme that will benefit everyone, regardless of one’s political affiliation”.

Also the KEEA Municipal Director of Food and Agriculture, Ms Victoria Dansoa Abankwa, said the PERD was aimed at creating alternative sources of livelihood for the people in the Municipality.

She said having realised that farmers in the area were engaged in the cultivation of cash crops for export, the government decided to introduce the programme, adding: “There is potential for the export of coconut and its bi-products.”

Ms Abankwa called on metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in the country, particularly those in the Central Region, to embrace the programme, since there was the possibility for them to earn income from it.

The 2018 KEEA Municipal Best Farmer, Mr Charles Ampong, received the products on behalf of the farmers and thanked the assembly for the support.

He urged his colleague farmers to follow best agronomic practices in cultivating the seedlings.

“It is my belief that when we take good care of the seedlings from now to fruiting, we will be able to attract more investors into our community,” he said.

The programme was graced by the MCE of the Municipality Nana Appiah Korang, The MCD Mr. Daniel Osei-Asibey, the Presiding Member Mr. Aspect Ackon and Other Dignitaries.

The programme seeks to create sustainable raw material base to spur up the decentralized industrialization drive through one district one factory initiative. The 5 years PERD programme will support 1 million farmers in all districts with certified free planting materials to cover over 1 million hectares of farmlands.