One of the government’s flagship programmes, the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) is severely underperforming. This is according to Francis Ennor, the Upper East Regional Director of Food and Agriculture.
The Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) Programme is a decentralized National Tree Crop Programme to promote rural economic growth and improve household incomes of rural farmers through the provision of certified improved seedlings, extension services, business support and regulatory mechanisms.
To create a legacy towards the realization of the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda, the Government of Ghana through the joint effort by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture rolled out the PERD programme to develop nine (9) commodity value chains namely Cashew, Coffee, Cotton Coconut, Citrus, Oil Palm, Mango, Rubber and Shea through a decentralized system.
The programme seeks to create sustainable raw material base to spur up the decentralized industrialization drive through One District Factory initiative. The 5-year PERD programme will support 1million farmers in 170 districts with certified free planting materials to cover over one (1) million hectares of farmlands and engage 10,000 young graduates as crop-specialized extension officers.
Speaking to A1 Radio’s Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show, Mr. Ennor explained that the government’s PERD is challenged because of three major issues; droughts, floods and bush fires.
“It has not been easy. For that programme, there is a big challenge when it comes to the region because of the bushfires and the animals. If you establish a large-scale mango farm, look at the season we find ourselves. Around June or July, if you plant your cashew or mango, they will be able to establish by October. By December, the bush fires would start and because of the large size of the farms, you can’t fence it all.”
“The long dry period also affects the pants because they need water to grow. Also for the animals, if you have your plantation and you have not fenced it, they will graze it.”
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana