In line with governments poverty eradication policy, the Bodi District Assembly in the Western North Region has embarked on some programmes geared towards the eradication of poverty in the district.
Subsequently, the assembly has established coconut plantation farms throughout the Bodi District. Starting with five of such plantation farms, the Assembly has enhanced employment opportunities for the people in the beneficiary communities.
It is estimated that over 500 people have so far been employed by the programme in the plantation farms. Initial beneficiary communities of these plantation farms are Datano, Krayawkrakrom, Attaboka, Kwafukaa and Dechemoasue with 100-120 workers per each community.
This was disclosed to ghananewsonline.com.gh in an interview with Rev. Augustine Oppong-Boadi, District Agriculture Extension Officer (DAEO) for the District.
He stated that government mindful of poverty in some districts in the country and its subsequent eradication had earmarked such 88 districts for its poverty eradication programme.
According to Rev. Oppong Boadi, Bodi district could not have been on of such poor districts, However, since cocoa trees had died en mass (about 83%), the district had thus been ranged poor, hence its addition in the programme.
The DAEO pointed out that three communities – Kwafukaa, Attaboka and Ekrayawkrom were initially earmarked for the programme, and took off early this year. However, realizing that it was not enough, two (2) others Denchemosue and Datano were added taking off in March
Why not cocoa?
Asked why not cocoa plantation farms since the district are noted for cocoa production, the Agric officer pointed out that since the mass death of cocoa trees had been caused by a swollen shot virus, it would not be prudent to plant cocoa.
He mentioned that after the swollen shoot endemic their victim farms should be allowed to go fallow for about five (5) years before replanting. However, since this is not economically prudent they hand to settle on coconut and to show diverse fiction
Rev. Oppong Boadi pointed out that singing the programme is geared towards poverty reduction, the Ministry of food and Agriculture (MOFA) which is in charge of the programme, had settled on a fast-growing variety – Malaysian Dwarf whose maturity and production period is between three (3) and four (4) years, with its peak period being 5-7 years
No of trees planted
The Agric officer pointed out that, with an average acreage of 45 per each farm, it is estimated that about 2700 trees should be planted on each farm. He stated that so far, about 13,500 trees had been planted and are doing well, lack of rainfall notwithstanding. He stated further that where necessary workers take to the irrigation of planted seedlings
Rev. Oppong Boadi mentioned that in order to have the projects run smoothly, social amities, such as sanitation, health, Education have been provided on these farms, He indicated that in order to make these places sanitary friendly toilet facilities had been provided there. Also daycare facilities far nursing mothers had been put in place alongside Health care, with the provision of first Aid Boxes. He said that those who got injured at work are sent to the hospital and with receipts, they are re-emerged with their hospital bill. All these are managed by officers in office put up on these coconut plantation farms.
Rev. Oppong Boadi stated that being community- based projects, the proceeds go directly to the beneficiary’s communities for their investment in any development projects of their choice
Describing the programme as good, nice, prudent and viable, Rev. Oppong Boadi urged beneficiary communities to endeavour to Manage them properly in order to ensure maximum prioritization of it. By this, the program could be expanded and extended to other deserving communities.
Bodi District Bodi District Bodi District Bodi District
By S.O. Ankama, Sefwi Juaboso, Werstern North Region