2 Volta communities protest against Indian salt mining firm

By: King Norbert Akpablie, citifmonline.com

 

Barely two weeks after residents of Adina in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region attacked an Indian salt mining company, Kensington, two more neighboring communities; Agbozume and Klikor, are also up in arms against the same company.

The residents there are accusing Kensington of drying up their wells and destroying their water bodies with their operations.

The residents in these communities who share the same lagoon with residents of Adina, are blaming the company for drilling water underground instead of drawing from the sea; which has resulted in the reduction of water at the water table that feeds their wells and lagoons.

Speaking to Citi News, some of the demonstrators called on government to help evacuate the company from the area.

One Ernest Lumor lamented that, the sea sometimes floods its boundaries due to activities of the company.

“The man came to our land, we were not informed and now the man is using the sea. Because of that, we have the sea covering our walls. Now we don’t have good water, our coconut trees are dying, we have too high temperature hence we are all feeling uncomfortable in the area. So now we want everyone to know that we are sacking the Whiteman and the job he is bringing. We have had this salt here always, but we are not seeing any benefit from the new salt he is producing,” he added.

Another resident, Mensah Lawson Kofi, said “as I speak, there is no water in our wells, during rainy season, our source of water is the wells, but it has not rained here for some time now.”

“We are demonstrating to petition the government to come to our aid because although our politicians promise to come to our rescue, they don’t honour their promises when we vote for them. We want government to help remove this mining company from this community. If a company is in your community, it comes with development, but we are not seeing any developmental projects in our community. They are also not going according to the contract they signed with our chiefs.”

It would be recalled that some weeks ago, angry Adina residents attacked staff of the company, leading to the death of one of the angry youth.

 

Source: modernghana.com

‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ campaign gets to Volta Region

By: Ivy Setordjie,Joy News, Volta Region

The Volta regional technical committee for the implementation of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ campaign has been inaugurated in the Volta Region with a call on the youth and the public to go into commercial farming.

A total of 7,914 farmers made of 5,885 males and 1,797 females have been registered for the campaign with the region registering 4,862 maize farmers to cultivate a total area of 14,400 Ha.

This means that the campaign’s target under maize production has been fully met. Hybrid maize would be established in the middle belt while the Open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) would be established in the southern and northern sectors of the region.

For rice, a total of 2,219 farmers have so far been registered and an area of 7,591Ha has been recorded and a deficit of 11,695 Ha of land is yet to be covered.

For vegetable production, a total 601 farmers have been registered for the cultivation of 2,499 Ha of land.

The Volta Region Minister, Archibald Yao Letsa, who Chairs the committee in a speech recently advised unemployed youth to go into farming to help increase food and raw material production instead of seeking for non-existing white-collar jobs.

He said Agriculture was a lucrative business if properly invested in.

He reminded the youth that venturing into farming would make them self-reliant and employers in the future.

He said that the advice to the youth has become imperative in view of the importance of farming to national growth and development.

“I want our youths to use their youthful agility toward commercial food production. This effort will enable them to improve their revenue base and become self-sufficient apart from contributing to national food security.” Dr Letsa said.

According to him, if many the youth go into commercial agriculture they would be able to cultivate many varieties during both rainy and dry seasons.

The minister also advised that the farming business requires patience, resilience, and commitment.

He reiterate the need for registered farmers to be educated  on the projects ongoing

He also announced that a lot of investors are interested in investing in the agric sector in the region, especially in the light of the current administration’s drive to establish a factory every district in Ghana.

The Regional Director of Agriculture, Samuel Kofi Larbi, said the technical team has been constituted in order to coordinate and monitor the main activities along the five pillars of the campaign.

According to him, the regional technical committee will also monitor the implementation of the program in the municipalities and districts to ensure that municipal and district technical committees which will be constituted to implement activities are captured in the action plan.

He said in line with the action plan for the implementation of the campaign, the regional, as well as the municipal and the district focal persons, have already been appointed and that farmer registration for the campaign are also ongoing.

He has, however, assured the farmers that the regional department of agriculture as well as the various municipal and the districts and departments are fully ready and committed to ensuring a successful implementation of the program.

“We are very much ready and committed to a successful Planting for Food and Jobs program,” he said

A member of the national technical committee, Kwame Amezah, said the policy within the national development agenda is to allow agriculture to contribute to the structural transformation of the economy and maximize the benefits of accelerated growths.

He said significant improvements in the productivity of the agricultural sector are required to raise the average income of Ghanaians.

Achieving sustainable food security in Ghana within the context of a phenomenal growth in population and increasing unemployment is a major challenge to the county development, Dr Amezah lamented

He said the campaign will focus on four key values chains – maize, rice, soybean, and sorghum – and promote peri-urban vegetable production. These will be outdoored for the industrial crops, cash crops, and livestock and others in subsequent years.

In 2008, the governing NPP introduced the fertilizer subsidy program with the aim of enhancing farmer access for increase crop productivity and subsequently growth in the agricultural sector.

The new government says it will continue with the fertilizer subsidy program it introduced in 2008 in addition to other incentives that will enhance the productivity of all category of farmers.

 

Source: myjoyonline.com

‘AAA’ plants 1000 trees in Maafi – Anfoe

Maafi Anfoe (VR), March. 10, GNA – The African Afforestation Association (AAA), a Non-governmental organization in partnership with the German International Cooperation for Development (GIZ) and other stakeholders have planted 1,000 trees at Maafi Anfoe in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region.

The project, estimated at 43,000 Euros is jointly financed by the GIZ and the local communities.

The four-acre project being the first of its kind in Africa is utilising a ‘Water Boxx’ technology to grow mahogany, mango, cashew, teak and orange among others and had been pioneered in Mexico, Chile and Jordan with positive results.

The ‘Water Boxx’ technology consists of a water-holding box through which the seedlings grow and could water the young plant for a year using five litres of water, making it ideal for planting during the dry season.

Togbe Dra-Aboetaka IV, Chief of Maafi-Anfoe who offered the land for the pilot project said it would be extended to 50,000-acre afforestation within the various communities in the District.

He said the vision when achieved, would create employment for the youth, protect the environment, check erosion, stop de-afforestation and generate income to improve living conditions of the people.

Mr Gunnar Fischer, Director, AAA said Ghana had been earmarked by the German Government for its climate change programme and that the 18-month project would employ 1,500 people and benefit 17 communities.

He said Groasis, the Holland-based producers of the ‘water boxx’ system was optimistic of producing them locally to reduce cost and appealed to stakeholders to contribute their quota towards a successful implementation of the project.

Mr. Fischer said the afforestation campaign would be extended to the northern parts of the country.

Madam Dzifa Attivor, a former Minister of Transport called on all stakeholders to come on board to broaden the scope of the project.

 

Source: modernghana.com

SWAT team deployed to quell turf war between Sokode farmers, herdsmen

 

Two police officers were injured Wednesday following clashes between nomadic herdsmen and farmers of Sokode Ando in the Volta Region.

The clashes have persisted since last week, culminating in fierce reprisals from both farmers and the nomads.

The nomads’ random movement of herds of cattle from one geographical location to the other has landed them in trouble with farmers who say the animals destroy their farms.

There have fatal clashes between nomads and farmers in the Ashanti and Eastern regions over alleged destruction of farms by the activities of nomads.

In Wednesday’s incident at Sokode Ando, the police officers were attacked when they sought to intervene in one of the many fights between the herdsmen and farmers.

Deputy Volta Region Police Commander, ACP Nana Asuman, told Joy News a SWAT team has been deployed to protect lives and property and to maintain security in the Volta Region town.

“When police were going there [the scene of a reported attack] they [farmers] attacked the police, took their rifles away and [vandalised] the police vehicle.

“So another police team had the information and were moving towards their area, but they were also ambushed and they took one rifle away from them and damaged the police vehicle,” he said.

ACP Asuman said some of the seized rifles were retrieved as the SWAT team moved into the area and met with opinion leaders and traditional leaders of Sokode Ando.

The injured police officers were receiving treatment at the hospital, he revealed.

 

Source: mordenghana.com