Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, on Tuesday asked small-holder farmers to use Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) to access and share information from researchers and agricultural extension officers to enhance production.

He said through ICT, farmers could determine what crops to plant, the seeds to buy, when and how to apply fertilizers and find out about diseases and the weather pattern.

Alhaji Mahama made the request when he inaugurated a 300,000-Ghana cedi ICT centre, provided by Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) in Tamale.

The centre has a large space for internet browsing, a conference hall, and rest and server rooms.

Alhaji Mahama stressed that farmers could use ICT to explore new possibilities for the production of smock and sheabutter.

He said ICT could be deployed to improve on the production of smock through the appraisal of various materials or yarns, colour schemes and potential clientele and markets.

Alhaji Mahama said studies had shown that lack of access to affordable ICT held back growth and development, hence government commitment to enact an Electronic Legislation Act.

He said Ghana could learn from the Ugandan experience, where ICT was used for the empowerment of the citizenry for national development.

The Vice President appealed to people who would patronise the centre to guard against the use of ICT, to promote hate mail, pornography, violent or extremist materials and rather concentrate on the aspects, which would help them to develop themselves and their localities.

Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, Metropolitan Chief Executive, said the Metropolitan Assembly had projected 15 million Ghana cedis to construct an Inland Transit Port in Tamale to facilitate the movement of haulage to the neighbouring countries.

The first phase would comprise a car park, fence and office, while private investors would be sought to develop the second phase that would include a banking hall, restaurant, hostel and fuel station.

Mr Adam said the centre would serve a large constituency, which would include personnel at the ministries, security agencies, students and tourists.

He lauded the personal efforts and initiative of the Vice President, which he said had brought about the project and other projects such as the Tamale street lights and provision of educational facilities.

Mr Adam noted that although the Dagbon chieftaincy crisis stalled the rapid development of the Metropolis, the area is now focused to attract more progress.

Mr Nortey Omaboe, Executive Chairman of GCNet, said the project was part of the company’s social responsibility and expressed the hope that it would be the growth pole for ICT development in the North.

Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, Northern Regional Minister, who chaired the function, called for peace, stability and unity in the region in order to attract more development projects.

Source: GNA