PROPOSAL FOR SUPPORT/APPROVAL FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MCE’S/MP’S SPECIAL INITIATIVE ON OIL PALM, CITRUS, AND COCOA (AUGUST ,2005)
The Assembly experiences semi-equatorial and tropical conventional
climates characterized by moderate to heavy rainfall annually. The vegetation of the Muncipality is mainly moist semi-deciduous forest. The soils in the Municipal are well drained, fertile, and support a great number of arable tree crops.
Agriculture is the backbone of the Assembly in terms of employment and income generation. It employs about 70% of the working population in the. Municipality contributes about 55% from food crops, 35% from cash crops and 10% from livestock in terms of household income in the Municipality. The major food crops produced are plantain, Cassava, Yams, Cocoyam and Maize.
Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and garden eggs, okro are also produced and are mostly grown in Akomadan, Afrancho, Nkenkaasu, Asuoso and their surrounding areas. Cocoa, Oil palm, and citrus are the main cash crops produced in the Municipality. Cashew cultivation is being promoted by Adventist Relief Agency (A D R A) and Ministry of Food and agriculture (M 0 F A). Teak is also grown in some parts of the Municipality.
The Economy of the Assembly is an agrarian one and used to be one of the richest and leading producers of cocoa and citrus in Ghana before the 1983 bush fires, which destroyed most of the farms in the Municipality. The bush fires have led to large tracts of very rich arable land lying idle besides what has been put under cultivation by few farmers. This is the major contributory factor to high level of poverty in the Municipality especially among farmers.
Besides this fire disaster, most of the existing cocoa farms are very old and the yields from these cocoa farms are poor. Moreover, the youth who are supposed to take over from the old farmers have abandoned the land and have moved to the cities, notably Kumasi and Accra to search for non -existing jobs due to lack of material and financial support to enter into farming.
In our bid to complement the effort of the Government to ensure
accelerated poverty reduction through the President’s Special Initiative (PSI), and to offer employment to the teaming youth in the Offinso South Municipal Assembly under the leadership of the Municipal Chief Executive; Hon. A. C. Ntim in collaboration with the two Members of parliament (MPs’) in the Municipality, Hon. Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, Member of Parliament for Offinso North and Minister for Regional Integration and NEPAD and Hon. Kwabena Sarfo M.P for Offinso South and Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and with support from Offinso Traditional Council and Ghana’s Ambassador in Holland, Dr. Mrs. Grace Ababio have initiated a four year programme (2005-2008) dubbed MCE’s/MPs special Initiative.
The main objective of the project is to contribute to the alleviation of
rural poverty by increasing productivity, employment and income in me , through a sustained and a well structured support for the cultivation of citrus, oil palm and rehabilitation of cocoa farms. It also aims at working to put up all the necessary structures for the establishment of an Oil Palm Plantation Plant that will be known as Offinso Oil Palm Plantation Mill.
The overall project objective will be pursued through the following interventions which are closely linked:
i. A special Sub-Committee for the project will be formed.
ii. Public education on the initiative (Project).
iii. Establishment of twenty (20) seed banks District wide, ten (10) will be created in the Offinso North and the other 10 in the south.
iv. Rehabilitation of cocoa farms. Assist farmers with the supply of improved oil palm, cocoa and citrus seedlings.
v. Increase the use of high-yielding inputs
vi. Get more people involved in the cultivation of cocoa, oil palm and citrus.
vii. Agriculture extension officers will provide technical advice to the farmers.
viii.Establishment of Board of Directors to give along term direction.
About one thousand (1000) people will benefit from the project annually. This figure may however be reviewed upwards as and when our financial base is expanded. Beneficiary target may include:
The project will cover 100 sq km of land out of which
i. 80 sq km will be used for production of oil palm
ii. 15 sq km will be used for cultivation of cocoa.
iii. 5 sq km will used for production of citrus
Source Of Funding
The first phase of the project is estimated at 10 billion Cedis for the
entire period (2005 - 2008). The Assembly will support the project mainly from its share of the Common Fund and Internally Generated Fund. The District Assembly has set up aside Four Hundred Million Cedis (¢400m) of its share of 2005 Common Fund and 200 Million Cedis from Internally Generated Funds to support the project for this year.
Other Interventions like the PSI Fund, Foreign Donors, NGOs and some Logistical and financial support shall be sought from state Institutions and Agencies.
The Municipal Planning and Co-ordinating Unit (MPCU), which is charged by the Act 480 and Act 479 for Planning, Co-ordination, Monitoring and Evaluation of Development Programmes and Programmes and Projects in the District, the traditional authorities, the Assembly’s Special Sub-Committee on Agric and the Oversight Committee in liaising, with the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) shall be directly responsible for the successful implementation and management of the project.