Deputy Minister of Local Government, Decentralization, and Rural Development has revealed that the government is working assiduously to cultivate more cash crops to stimulate the local economy through exports.

Augustine Collins Ntim says that the move is a step toward utilizing the flagship Planting for Exports and Rural Development (PERD) Programme to diversify and modernize local agriculture and create jobs for Ghanaians.

The project, which is anticipated to last four to eight years, would encourage farmers nationwide to cultivate at least one hectare of a variety of crops, including cashew, mango, oil palm, shea, and coffee among others.

He told Journalists at Mankranso in the Ashanti Region that by ensuring that all the districts are involved, 98 Districts have been validated to engage in cashew farming, 30 for oil palm, 40 for coconut, 5 for shea, and 15 for coffee production.

Mr. Ntim stated that there is no way government won’t be able to reach the target because of the work toward diversifying the agricultural industry by utilising Planting for Exports and Rural Development.

“We are trying to diversify our agricultural economy leveraging on the Planting for Exports and Rural Development which the chief executives have so much imbibed. So there’s no way we will not be able to achieve the target. Indeed, for the project targeting, we are targeting one million farmers within the next four, five to eight years to at least establish one hectare of plantation in the various commodities being cashew, mango, oil palm, shea, coffee and all that,” he indicated.

As they align with President Akufo-Addo’s agenda for decentralised industrialisation, Mr. Ntim says, he is very impressed with the implementation progress of the several flagship programs so far.

“Most of the industries are agro-based, and then the critical ingredient along that chain has to do with sustainable raw material-based, so this PERD is an integrated approach establishing a sustainable raw material based to feed into the one District one factory and then also creating jobs. And then propping up the rural economy to enhance revenue generation in a much more sustainable manner,” the Minister stated.

The Offinso North MP disclosed this to journalists during a monitoring tour designed to evaluate the performance of the various MMDAs in the fields of agriculture, education, and health.

The Kwabre East Municipality, Afigya Kwabre South and North Areas, Offinso South and North Districts, Ejisu, Ejura, Ahafo Ano South West, and many more districts were among those visited.