Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has cut the sod for the start of a 1.8 million euro rubber plantation project at Assin Nsuta in the Central Region.
The 826 acres momentous rubber plantation project by the Anglican Diocese Of Accra(ADOA) is the biggest initiative in the rubber industry in the country.
In his address, the Vice President expressed joy at the initiative adding he was proud to be associated with the project.
He said the project would go a long way to create decent jobs for the teeming youth in the area and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
The Vice President underscored the importance of natural rubber saying its production in the country will not only reduce the cost of imports but also contribute significantly to the country’s GDP.
The government he said, is geared towards supporting private entities and is ever ready to partner with faith-based institutions to undertake meaningful ventures such as this.
“I am very excited today, this is a very important undertaken and we cannot afford to let it fail,” he said.
Bawumia also described the plantation project as a very important one and a “game-changer” providing nourishment for many industrial establishments”
He said the rubber plantation project also ties in with government flagship initiatives such as the planting for food and jobs, export and the 1D1F cherished vision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Bawumia used the occasion to entreat other faith-based institutions to emulate the laudable initiative of ADOA, adding that as churches “you come as credible investors and very soon we will have one church one plantation”, he said.
Addressing the gathering, the deputy minister for Lands and Natural Resources Benito Owusu Bio, on behalf of the Sector Minister appealed to the Anglican Diocese across the country to actively participate in the upcoming national tree planting exercise on June 10, 2022, the Green Ghana Day, while commending the church for their support during the 1st edition.
He said arrangements are being made for the distribution of seedlings of various tree species through all regional and district forestry offices to selected locations for collection.
He affirmed the commitment of the ministry to assist ADOA plantation in the processing of land documentation and other related issues and encouraged them to continue to expand the project to secure a sustainable source of revenue for the church and for the benefit of its members.
The managing director for ADOA, Rev. Canon Ebenezer Jones Okai in his remark said Faith-based institutions are developmental partners with the government and hence they will collaborate with the government to ensure the sustainability of the rubber plantation project.
He further opined on the importance of collaboration and partnership between the Church and the locals from Assin Nsutem, as he called on them to be key stakeholders in the project.
The Chief of Assin Nsuta Nana Dr. Ohemeng Owhere V gave a historical overview of the Assin Nsuta land acquired for the project saying that the land was originally a stool land and was later in the 1970s vested as State Land.
Nana Dr. Ohemeng V was however quick to add that “we have not sold the land but rather we have leased the land to ADOA”.
He called on his subject to cooperate fully with ADOA for the successful take-off of the project.
The Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan said the government is committed to supporting individuals and organizations in the area of production, especially agriculture.
She said the collective responsibility of all, is to come together and help the government to succeed as agents of development.
The Rubber plantation project is being financed by Agricultural Development Bank ADB.