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Northern Development Authority to cultivate grass for export

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Northern Development Authority to cultivate grass for export

The Northern Development Authority (NDA) is finalising a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement to undertake cultivation of grass for export to earn substantial revenue, Dr Abdel-Majeed Haroun, Chief Executive Officer of NDA has announced.

He said “I have quite a few partners, who have expressed interest. Once we clear the PPP arrangements or the land arrangements, they will come and then each of them will be a nucleus and they will help out-growers to cultivate the grass.

He mentioned stylosanthes, centrosema and guinea grass as the types of grasses to be cultivated under the initiative, which sought to put the vast lands in the northern part of the country into production to create jobs and improve incomes of farmers.

Dr Haroun announced this when making a presentation on “Development Opportunities and Challenges in Northern Ghana” at an inception workshop held in Tamale as part of the Resilience Against Climate Change (REACH) – Social Transformation Research (STR) project.

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The project, being implemented in the northern part of the country from 2019 to 2025, will undertake STR and policy advocacy on migration, youth and social transformation to achieve more inclusive and sustainable economic growth policy and programming in the country.

REACH-STR is a European Union (EU) funded project, which is being implemented by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in partnership with University for Development Studies, University of Ghana – Centre for Migration Studies, and Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Dr Haroun said “generally, the grasses that are natural to Ghana are also natural to animals” hence the initiative to cultivate grasses in commercial quantities to sell to countries such as Saudi Arabia and Singapore that did not have the land to grow grass.

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The global hay/forage trade in 2018 was worth almost 40 billion dollars as the grasses were bought to feed cattle for their meat and milk.

The NDA, therefore, targets to capture at least 1000th of the global hay/forage trade so that it can make at least 40 million dollars annually just by growing and selling grass.

Dr Haroun said “Let us turn what seems to be a disadvantage to us such as spraying to kill the grass by rather cultivating the grass to sell and make money because there are areas in the world where they cannot grow grass; Saudi Arabia, Singapore”.

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He responded to the issue of rampant bush burning, which could be a major setback to the initiative saying “when somebody has a value in something, they will not burn it” adding “We can do controlled bush fires by canaling the grass fields”.

Mr Mohammed Tiyumtaba Shaibu, Principal Technologist at CSIR – Animal Research Institute (ARI) lauded the initiative saying CSIR-ARI did some research work on forage, which showed that it was a viable venture to grow grass for animals.

Mr Shaibu called for collaboration between CSIR-ARI and NDA to undertake the initiative to ensure success.

Source: Ghananewsagency.org

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1 million waste bin project launched in Accra

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1 million waste bin project launched in Accra

Universal Plastic Products and Recycling(UPPR) Ghana Limited in collaboration with Ecobank Ghana Limited and the Environment Service Providers Association has launched a 1 million Waste Bin project aimed at reducing “indiscriminate disposal” of waste in Ghana.

The launch which took place at the headquarters of ECOBANK GHANA LIMITED saw in attendance various stakeholders in the sanitation value chain,including the ministry of sanitation, members of Parliament, municipal assembly members and the media.

According to the managing director of Ecobank Ghana Limited,Mr Dean Sackey, Ecobank Ghana’s collaboration in this big project stems from its commitment to helping in the creation of massive awareness about environmental cleanliness among Ghanaians.

He reiterated the need for every home in Ghana to have a waste bin which according to him is essential in ensuring proper disposal and recycling of waste.

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He revealed that Ecobank on its part has invested at least 10 million dollars as a medium term loan facility to support the production of waste bins to be distributed across the country.

The president of the Environmental Service Providers,Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong indicated that the current filth insurgency engulfing the country can be attributed to the lack of sufficient waste bins in homes,workplaces,public bus stations and other places of the public sphere.

Speaking on the project,the chief Operating Officer for technical and Logistics Cluster of the Jospong Group of companies,Mr Alex Atakorah indicated that ensuring good sanitary conditions in Ghana can only come about through Public-Private partnership approach which is currently being pursued.

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According to him,the Sustainable development goals which support a clean environment could never be achieved without the use of waste bins.

He also revealed that most of the operation the the Universal Plastic Products and Recycling are sourced and recovered from their dumpsites and landfills which all contribute immensely towards reducing the waste burden on the country.

The 1 million Waste project is expected to further complement the existing sanitation initiatives by the various government institutions in the country including Metropolitan assemblies and District Assemblies.

Background

The special waste bins under the 1 million Waste Bin project have been fitted with Radio Frequency Identity tags that enable the Waste management companies to closely monitored to record how often the bins get emptied.

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This feature is expected to eliminate the current situation of “Over-spill” of waste bins which often lead to air pollution and contamination.

Uniformed officials of the waste management companies with ID cards are expected to move into communities for the purposes of distributing and registering of the waste bins to homes,schools,offices and other public spaces.

Source: ghanaweb.com

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Ghana signs deal to buy six aircraft for new national airline

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Ghana signs deal to buy six aircraft for new national airline

The government on Tuesday, November 18, 2019, signed a deal with De Havilland Aircraft of Canada at the on-going Dubai Air Show to buy six Dash8-400 aircraft to start its national airline.

Citi Business News understands that the aircraft will be purchased by the first quarter of 2020.

The plan to reestablish a national carrier has been on the drawing board for some time now.

Following the signing of the agreement, issues of financing and others are expected to be finalized which will be presented to Cabinet for approval and then to Parliament.

The new deal, signed by the Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda, is expected to boost Ghana’s dream of seeing to it that a new national airline hits the skies.

The Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, who signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Ghana’s behalf, said “They’re manufacturing Dash-8s, which used to be called Q-400, that can take upwards of 82 passengers. That will be able to serve the domestic and regional needs of the passengers. We’ve done our research and we’ve assessed all the aircraft available, and we think these ones are the ones most efficient and suitable given the weather and so on, that we can use to carry Ghanaians within the country and also send them to other West African countries all the way up to Senegal, The Gambia, Cameroun, and Congo as well”.

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“So these are things that the route planning people will work on as far as the details are concerned. But we want to be sure we’ve got the critical sets of aircraft that the airline can start operating them.”

Ghana signs MoU for 3 Dreamliners

Ghana has also signed an MOU (Letter of intent) for three (3) Boeing 787-9 planes.

“The second one is the Boeing 787-9, that’s a long haul. Long haul means it goes trans-oceanic. It goes to Europe, North America, it can go to Middle East and Asia. These were signed for three of the aircraft. These are all Memorandum of Understanding; they’re letters of intent indicating our desire to procure these aircraft. There are other processes we have to go through now with the manufacturers themselves, the government of Ghana, the approvals that would be required from all the government levels, we have to go through that between now and the end of the year to secure that.”

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The Minister says Government will be assessing the various options in procuring the aircraft.

“There are different ways of procuring an aircraft. There’s a leasing arrangement that can go on with a third party paying for the aircraft, then you will pay periodically may be monthly or quarterly for the service of the aircraft with some down payment. There’s also the outright purchase which is another option. So these are options that we’ve weighed and we will place before the government. We’re hoping that once the government makes a decision on this, we will be able to make payments that are required for the aircraft to be delivered. We’ve been able to get some good discounts from where we are starting with the two manufacturers, and we think they’re reasonable terms which I cannot disclose for now, but once I meet cabinet and parliament these will become public knowledge.”

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A name for new home-based airline

According to the Aviation Minister, a search is still ongoing on how to call the new national airline.

“So we’re happy that this has brought us to one tip of the bridge, so once we conclude the procurement, then we cross over to the next end of the bridge which means that we’re now airborne with a home-based airline. The name itself we’re waiting to discuss that at the government level, and gathering some inputs from different parties.”

Source: citinewsroom.com

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No more expiry of voice, data bundles – Telcos ordered

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No more expiry of voice, data bundles – Telcos ordered

The Ministry of Communications has directed telcos to roll over all unused data and voice bundles purchased by customers.

This will mean unused data and credit will not expire.

“All unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge,” the Ministry said in the statement that also directed teclos to cease the instant deduction of the Communications Service Tax (CST).

The Ministry assured that Mobile Network Operators will be subjected to “strict compliance with exiting Quality of Service (QoS) standard to ensure value for the subscribers’ money in accordance with their licence obligations.”

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The directive came in a letter written to the National Communications Authority and was copied the Chief Executive Officers of MTN and Vodafone as well as the two Deputy Ministers of Communication.

The Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said this was part of measures to”minimise the negative impact of deduction of the CST.”

Currently, only AirtelTigo offers data bundles that do not expire.

Source: citinewsroom.com

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