Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale
THE Northern Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, Mr Sylvester Adongo, has entreated the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) to encourage residents to go into intensive rearing of animals in peri-urban communities instead of allowing the animals to roam the streets to worsen the sanitation problems in the metropolis.
He noted that the assembly could achieve that through the introduction of special incentive packages to make the rearing of such animals an attractive business venture.
Mr Adongo stated this in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Tamale. He was speaking on the food situation in the metropolis in the aftermath of the recent flood that affected the metropolis and other parts of the northern part of the country.
He stressed that the TAMA must spearhead activities to enhance food security in the metropolis, adding that the measure would also ensure that the city was kept clean during and after the Ghana 2008 tournament.
Mr Adongo wondered why “residents leave animals to roam the streets, and sometimes get knocked down by vehicles instead of treating the rearing of such animals as a business venture”.
According to the director there was the need to encourage farmers in the peri-urban communities to increase food production, including the rearing of animals through the provision of credit facilities.
He observed that prices of food grains on the market in the metropolis were on the increase because of the flood, panic buying and stockpiling of some farm produce by businessmen and women.
The director, however, denied reports of imminent food shortage in the metropolis, and rather called for concrete steps to regulate the purchase of food grains from the metropolis, particularly by people from the Sahelian regions as that could have an adverse effect on the food situation in the area.
“I am confident that we would have a positive food balance by the close of this year: The only thing is that on paper there could be food surplus but this might not be the real situation on the ground if food continues to be bought in large quantities by our neighbours”, he further stated.
In another development the Chief of Zagyuri, a peri-urban community in Tamale, Na Tia Napari, has made an urgent appeal to the TAMA to facilitate the provision of adequate potable water, electricity and toilet facilities to the community.
He noted that the provision of such basic social amenities was critical to reducing poverty and the spread of diseases among residents of the area.
The Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, pledged on behalf of the assembly to help provide the necessary facilities to the community.
He further disclosed that the metropolis would soon benefit from a two-year Local and Regional Economic Development (LRED) project this year.
According to him, the project that was being sponsored by the German Development Co-operation (GTZ) was aimed, among other objectives, at supporting the creation of a vibrant business investment climate in the metropolis.