THE Atebubu-Amantin District Assembly, in collaboration with the District Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), is to go into rice cultivation this year.
The move is to help the assembly to generate more revenue to finance its development programmes, create jobs for the youth and ensure food security in the district.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Sanja Nanja, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic at Atebubu, said the initiative was also to diversify the assembly’s sources of internally generated funds.
According to him, the assembly had over the period depended heavily on the District Assemblies Common Fund (DAFC) and other traditional sources of revenue, which had been inadequate to meet the development needs of the district.
Mr Nanja said it was against this background that the assembly decided to go into rice cultivation to shift from the traditional sources of revenue.
He stated that under the initiative, the assembly had decided to cultivate 100 hectares of rice initially and gradually increase the size.
Mr Nanja added that apart from the rice cultivation, the assembly was working feverishly to come up with other income generating activities to boost its revenue.
He expressed the hope that the venture would also serve as a motivating factor for the youth to go into agriculture.
The DCE stated that with the inclusion of the district in the Savannah Accelerated Development (SADA), farmers in the district stood to benefit.
Mr Nanja said the assembly had made an appeal to SADA to consider irrigating Fakwasi rice fields and also establish a cannery at Konkrompe to assist vegetable farmers in the district to reduce their post-harvest losses drastically.
He said since agriculture has been the main source of employment in the district, the assembly was exploring ways to make it viable and less burdensome for the people.
The DCE stated that the assembly was able to negotiate to reduce the cost of ploughing by tractors from GH¢35 to GH¢25 per acre in the district.
Mr Nanja said the assembly was also constructing a mortuary, general ward and the rehabilitation of nurses’ quarters at the district hospital, as well as renovating an old clinic at Amantin, work on which was at the completion stage.
He said the ward project for the hospital was abandoned since 1998 but had been revived and is receiving the needed attention.
According to him, when the ward was completed, it would reduce the pressure and the overcrowding in the other wards of the hospital.