Just a day after formally taking over from the immediate past Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Kofi Humado has “hit the ground running” by visiting two major rice farms in the Volta Region to get first-hand information on their activities.
Accompanied by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Project Coordinator of the Ghana Commercial Agricultural Programme, Hon. Humado first visited the farms of Global Agri-Development Company (GADCO), which is a partnership between GADCO and the Fievie Community.
Conducting the Minister and his team round the farm, Mr. Toks Abimbola, Co-founder of GADCO indicated that Ghana has been very good to the company. He said “there are very few countries in Africa, let alone West Africa where a young company can achieve so much in such a short time”.
He attributed the Company’s success to the support rendered them by State institutions and agencies such as the Ghana Investment Promotion Authority.
He added that GADCO is committed to the food security of Ghana and the development of people which is evident in the recruitment, integration and training of young graduates and indigenes by experts from Brazil and other parts of the world in their operations.
He thanked the government and people of Ghana for the tremendous support offered them.
Later at a gathering with the elders and people of Fievie, Hon. Humado said, he was particularly impressed by the mutual collaboration between the Investor and the land owners (Fievie community) in respect of the land arrangement. He cited instances where other agricultural schemes had failed as a result of land issues.
The Minister, therefore, commended the people of Fievie, for their forthrightness by not selling the land outright but instead leasing part and giving the other part on revenue sharing basis with the company. He assured them of government support and commitment to attracting more such large scale investors into the agricultural sector.
According to Hon. Humado, a team from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture will be sent to study the land arrangement between the people of Fievie and GADCO so it can be replicated in other communities.
According to the stool father of Fievie, they have been able to build a permanent block structure for the Basic school, provide furniture for the kindergarten, extended electricity, installed fans in the classrooms and currently extending pipe borne to the community.
He added that, they have plans of replicating the land arrangement in the smaller towns that constitute the Fievie traditional area so they can also benefit from such opportunities.
GADCO owned by a consortium of international Investors, was started in January 2011 with an objective to build an integrated food company in Africa whilst making a significant contribution to the food security objectives of the host nation and community.
In an interview with Dzibodi Agbevade, General Manager in charge of Productions, he indicated GADCO has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fievie Community for 5,000 hectares of land.
He said current total land under cultivation was 800 hectares but that will be increased by 920 hectares this year.
At Aveyime, the Minister and his team visited the Aveyime Rice Farm also known as the Praire Volta where they were taken round the rice fields, the Mill and storage plant and the other departments to see the extent of their operations and how it could be improved to meet the growing demand for locally produced rice