The Member of Parliament for Evalue Ajomoro Gwira Constituency and Minister of State, Hon. Catherine Abelema Afeku has distributed over 10,000 coconut seedlings to coconut farmers in her constituency.
According to the Mp, the distribution to the farmers is mainly help to boost and revamp the Cocoanut Industry which once upon a time, was the major business hub for the people of Nzemaland.
It is against this backdrop that her office and other MPs of Nzemaland are putting in place lasting measures to equip and motivate farmers to invest in the industry.
The coconut industry over the past decade has witnessed a sharp decline due to some factors which led its dwindling.
Hon Afeku in a ceremony held on Tuesday afternoon in her constituency added through the effort of her contacts who are also interested in investing in the industry and she joined hands with Hon. Paul Essien, Jomoro MP to send a Coconut Development Plan to the newly created Tree Crop Development Authority in Parliament and subsequent approval was given for a major investment in the already collapsing coconut industry in the Western region specifically Nzemaland.
Addressing the farmers, the Member of Parliament stated that the distribution was in line with the President’s vision of Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) which seeks to encourage the production of food items for both local consumption and export.
She hinted that plans were far advanced in creating an enabling market environment for the coconut harvest as a proposed Coconut processing factory which will soon be sited at Awukyire, a suburb of Axim to boost the coconut production levels in Evalue Ajomoro Gwira, Ellembelle, and Jommoro constituencies.
She expressed satisfaction at the number of youth who have expressed interest and at the ceremony and advised that the youth venture into coconut farming as it was a lucrative business that produced many rich men in Axim and it’s environs.
On his part the MCE, Hon. Frank Okpenyen indicated that the coconut seedlings will be given to 133 coconut farmers carefully selected from 27 communities in the constituency.
He outlined some of the benefits of coconut including oil, yogurt, etc. He explained that a cassava factory was being established at Bokro, a community in the constituency to process cassava into its derivatives such as starch, gari, akyeke, etc.
He indicated that the fishing industry in the constituency was also seeing a major uplift as the fishermen were being supplied with outboard motors, premix fuel and the construction of the ultra-modern Axim fishing harbour.
The Municipal Director of Agriculture, Mr. Blay Kainyah expressed his gratitude to the MP and MCE for their continuous support. He stated that the supply of the seedlings will be a great relief to the farmers as it was expensive on the market. He also mentioned that his office currently had in possession of about 700 fertilizers which will be distributed to the farmers as part of the package.
The ceremony was chaired by Nana Ewiafum III, Gyantuahene of Lower Axim Traditional Area who also doubles as the Chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee of the Assembly.