Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Saturday launched a GH¢5 million Cotton Support Programme to improve cotton farming in the three northern regions here.

Of the amount, GH¢3.5 million will be given as loans to farmers while GH¢1.5 million will be used to subsidise the cost of fertilizers for the farmers.

The loans will cover the cost of preparation, supply of seeds and the provision of chemicals.

The Vice President explained that the package was a demonstration of the government’s commitment to supporting the country’s farmers to regain their lost prestige and glory.

He therefore asked the farmers and cotton companies to take full advantage of the programme to boost production.

He said under the programme, over 20,000 households would be covered this year across the three regions and hoped this would not only boost cotton production for export but would also revive the cotton ginnery.

The Vice-President noted that the three regions had great potential for cotton production which, if fully utilised, would greatly reduce the high poverty, hunger and disease levels in the area.

He advised the farmers to stick to the advice of agricultural extension officers and adopt modern techniques to increase production.

The Northern Regional Minister, Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba, welcomed the government’s assistance, stressing that it would help give true meaning to its policy on free school uniforms for basic schools as cotton production would make enough raw materials available to textile industries to meet the demand.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Mahama Ayariga, assured the farmers of his ministry’s commitment to ensure the revival of the cotton industry.

He said that the ministry would assist farmers to produce enough raw materials for the local textile industries and for export.
Chairman of the National Cotton Fanners, Abdul-Rahaman Mohammed, commended the government for the programme and pledged that the fanners would make good use of it.

Source: The Ghanaian Times

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