Akyem Kukuratumi, Eastern Region, Ghana – June 20, 2024: The Abuakwa North Municipal Assembly has distributed 4,000 coconut and oil palm seedlings each to over 70 farmers in a significant boost to local agriculture. The event took place at the Assembly’s premises in Akyem Kukuratumi.

Municipal Chief Executive Hon. Alhaji Umar Babs Bodinga highlighted that this distribution brings the total number of seedlings handed out over the past year to more than 43,000, with plans to distribute an additional 70,000 seedlings in the near future.

This initiative is part of the government’s Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) program, which aims to diversify Ghana’s agricultural exports beyond cocoa by encouraging the cultivation of other cash crops such as cashew, mango, shea, oil palm, and coconut. Research conducted by the Department of Agriculture identified oil palm and coconut as highly suitable for the local climate and soil conditions, leading to their selection for this distribution.

Hon. Alhaji Umar Babs Bodinga explained that the harvested palm nuts would serve as raw material for the numerous palm oil extraction factories in the municipality. Additionally, the municipality is planning to establish a coconut oil factory, necessitating increased coconut production to supply the facility. He emphasized the economic benefits of cultivating oil palm and coconut, urging farmers to plant the seedlings and contribute to the local economy.

The Municipal Chief Executive also warned that national security will monitor the planting process to ensure compliance. Farmers who fail to plant the seedlings as required will face consequences.

Alhaji Bodinga encouraged the youth to engage in agriculture, highlighting its importance for the socio-economic development of the municipality and the nation.

The event was attended by several key figures, including Mr. Emil Tawiah Atsu, Municipal Coordinating Director, Mr. Anthony Nartey, Municipal Agric Director, other departmental heads, and members of the press.