FARMERS in the Asutifi District in the Brong Ahafo Region who were directly affected by the Ahafo Mine project, have received a total of GH¢2.7million under the Agricultural Improvement and Land Access Programme of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL).
The package was under the Agricultural Improvement and Land Access Programme and the Ahafo Agribusiness Growth Initiative (AILAP/AAGI).
Mr Dan Michaelson, NGGL General Manager, Environment and Social Responsibility (ESR), said this in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Agbeko Azumah, the NGGL Communications Manager, at the AILAP/AAGI Open Day in Kenyasi.
The open day, on the theme; “Increased Agricultural Production and Productivity in Asutifi”, was to provide information on coverage and achievements of the programme since its inception.
The open day also afforded beneficiaries of the programmes the opportunity to showcase and exhibit their produce and be acknowledged for their efforts and hard work.
Mr Michaelson gave the breakdown of the amount spent as GH¢1,014,950 for 3,000 farmers under the first phase of AILAP in Ahafo South, GH¢1.5Million on AAGI and GH¢116,425.75 on farm inputs and their distribution, as well as land access, clearance and maintenance fees for the second phase of AILAP.
The AILAP/AAGI , a post-resettlement programme initiated in 2006 and targeted at farmers who had been paid their crop or building compensation, is designed to improve the economic livelihoods of farmers in the district by helping them to improve both productivity and profitability.
The project is also intended to encourage them to think like businessmen and women to ensure that they produce to market specifications and link their productivity to market demands.
Mr Michaelson, in his address, said Newmont had been collaborating with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Opportunities Industrialisation Centre (OIC) International , the Asutifi District Assembly and African Connections Ghana Limited to implement the AILAP/AAGI.
He gave the assurance that Newmont and its collaborators under the AILAP/AAGI, would continue to work together for the development of the communities within its Ahafo Mine catchment to improve their well-being.
Dr Ayesha Hakeem, the Managing Director of African Connections Ghana Limited, said beneficiaries of the AILAP were making significant progress in their agricultural activities as they had been marketing their produce to local, regional and international buyers, processors and exporters.