Minerals Commission is making moves to distribute over one million oil palm seedlings starting July this year to farmers in mining communities to discourage illegal mining and provide sustainable livelihoods to the communities impacted by mining.
The production of the seedlings, which is undertaken by Richie Plantations Limited, falls under government’s Alternative Livelihood Project being implemented in mining areas to provide livelihood opportunities to former illegal miners.
Speaking today at Akwatiakwa in the Akuapem North District to inspect the progress of the project, the Chairman of the Minerals Commission Board Sampson K.Boafo, said beneficiaries from mining communities in the Eastern Region will be registered to participate in the programme.
The programme was to mobilise illegal miners and sensitise them into adopting the project as a more lucrative, less hazardous means of livelihood and strengthen the efforts at diversifying Ghana’s export earnings by increasing the participation of farmers in the production of oil palm, the Minerals Commission Board Chair stated.
Additionally, he said it was aimed at generating employment, both direct and indirect through the establishment of agro based industries to use the oil palm produce as a feed stock.
He further lauded the Akufo-Addo government for the project and urged Ghanaians to further give the Npp government additional four year mandate to do more.
Chief Executive of Richie Plantations, Richard Ekow Quansah, appealed to the chiefs to make available farm lands for the programme beneficiaries to have easy access of land to participate in future projects.