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PERD: Animals chewing mango, cashew seedlings planted in Upper East Region

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“The way we keep out animals, the animals are the most dangerous one [to the PERD]. Either than that, we would be able to establish some of them [plantations]. But here [Upper East Region], they release the cattle, they release the animals. The animals now go far to graze. If we are able to control or house our animals, we would be able to make headway in that area.”

Francis Ennor, the Upper East Regional Director of Agriculture said when he spoke about the progress of the government’s Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) in the region.

It recently came to light that the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) is severely underperforming.

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.”

Mr. Ennor continued to say, “as long as the animals are on free range, it is going to be very difficult.”

Read Also: UER: Only 5 out of 15 MDAs benefitted from PERD because of lack of funds

He added that farmers who planted the seedlings around their homes, it is easy for them to tend to the plants. Also, farmers who planted close to the dams in the communities, it has become easier for them to care for the plants.

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.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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