Farmers in the New Juaben North Municipality in the Eastern Region have benefitted from the distribution of 45,000 oil palm seedlings by the Municipal Agriculture Department.

Some of the beneficiaries were from Obomso, Jumapo, Asikesu, Shushyen, Effiduase, Akwadum Asokore, Dabi Asem Kyoko among others.

The District Agriculture Director, Mr Courage Emmanuel Narh, said the move forms part of the government’s Planting for Export and Rural Development Programme to ensure local economic development. 

He also said the choice of palm nut seedlings is to provide a replacement for cocoa.

According to Mr Narh, 16,000 seedlings were first released to 84 farmers in the municipality, adding that the distribution of 45,000 seedlings was the second phase of the programme.

He revealed that the Agriculture Department intends to plant 100,000 palm nut trees to cushion the 1 District-1 Factory programme in the municipality.

Mr Narh noted that the Member of Parliament for New Juaben North, Mr Agyei Boateng, who doubles as a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, presented a box of cutlasses and nose masks to the farmers to boost their efforts in the industry. 

A farmer, Stephen Osei Appiah, hailed the government for distributing free oil palm seedlings to them.

He encouraged the farmers to plant the seedlings to yield income for themselves. 

The Municipal Chief Executive for New Juaben North, Comfort Asante, said the Planting for Food and Jobs; as well as the Planting for Export and Rural Development programmes, have played important roles in the agriculture sector. 

She revealed that the third face will come off at Shushen Mpaem.

Ms Asante further entreated the farmers to take the process seriously so that the government will know they are working toward the betterment of the people in the agriculture sector. 

The MP for New Juaben North, Mr Agyei Boateng, said the government introduced seven types of cash crops to help farmers and the agriculture sector in general to diversify. 

He has therefore urged the farmers to try cultivating other crops like cashew and mango among others.

The Deputy Minister also reiterated the government’s plans for farmers and the agriculture sector.