By Agbaxode Emmanuel
Akatsi (VR), Dec. 2, GNA – Mr Charles Grunitzky, the Akatsi South Municipal Director of the Department of Agriculture, has disclosed that rice cultivation in the area has seen a steady increase of five per cent between 2020 and 2021.
He said rice farming in Akatsi South, which started in Atsiekpi, a farming community near Akatsi in 2012 on just a five-acre plot of land, now covers over 2,612 acres of land with a production of over 3,277 metric tons.
It is, therefore, “a wake up call for us in Akatsi South to invest more into Rice Production.”
Mr Grunitzky disclosed this to the GNA before the commencement of activities for the 38th edition of the Municipal Farmers’ Day celebration at Agornu Kporkplorte, a farming community within Akatsi South.
“A thriving rice industry will require the needed infrastructure like rice drying platforms, rice mills, and ware houses,” he said.
On efforts and achievements, Mr Grunitzky said the Municipal Assembly collaborated with the Korean Progamme on International Agriculture (KOPIA) Ghana, and Good Neighbours Ghana, international NGOs focusing on agricultural and community development as well as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research -Crop Research Institute to train 118 rice farmers and 21 technical agriculture staff.
He added that their outfit would continue to build the capacities of active farmer groups and revamping the dormant ones.
He outlined several activities and potential areas for expanding agricultural production including crops and livestock in the area.
Mr Grunitzky revealed, crops such as coconut, mangoes, and pineapples due to the favorable weather conditions, also do well in the area.
“Mangoes fruit twice a year in Akatsi South, hence, producing more fruit for consumption, means more income for farmers, and also creating more jobs. The Department foresees mango processing factories springing up in the municipality in a few years to come.
“Maize, cassava, sweet potatoes and vegetables are also of a great concern, and we are making great efforts in that regard,” he said.
On some challenges affecting their operations, Mr Grunitzky said the dams and dugouts within the farming communities remained in deplorable states.
The other challenge he said, had to do with issues of litigation on agricultural lands that impede within the sub-region where he appealed to authorities including traditional rulers to intervene to pave way for accelerated agricultural development in the area.
This year’s municipal awards include three major categories, overall best farmer, best crop farmer, and best livestock farmer.
Others are, best agriculture worker, best national service personnel, best physically challenged farmer, best veteran farmer, and best processing group.
The theme for this year’s event, “Accelerating Agricultural Development Through Value Addition,” Mr Grunitzky said, was a gentle reminder that, “value addition to our raw harvest materials was as equally important as producing them.”