OPENING REMARKS BY HON. MCE
The Hon. Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Seth Antwi-Boasiako in his remarks was delighted to once again see the Committee in session. He seized the opportunity to welcome members to the meeting. He added that the purpose of Local Economic Development is to build the capacity of Kwaebibirem Municipality and also to improve its economic future and the quality of life for its inhabitants and tasked members to work to achieve this purpose. Continuing, he encouraged members to contribute towards a fruitful deliberation.
READING AND ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
The Committee took time to read through the minutes of the previous meeting.
CORRECTIONS, AND ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES
No corrections were made to the minutes.
Hon. Nortey Yinusah moved for the adoption of the minutes as a working document of the committee and was seconded by Hon. Eric Abrokwah.
Distribution of Palm seedlings
#The Committee enquired from the Agric. Director on the update of the distribution of palm seedlings to farmers. The Agric. Director responded by indicating that the department distributed 60,000 seedlings in 2022 and has request 150,000 oil palm seedling and 50,000 coconut seedling.
She continued that, the office visited some selected beneficiaries who have planted the seedlings and were doing well.
Organization and Strengthening of Oil Palm Producers Association
The Committee wanted to know the steps taken to organize and strengthen the Oil Palm Producers Association in the municipality. The BAC Head in response said that the office has mobilized and formed Palm Oil Processors Association and their activities being monitored by his office.
The BAC Head updated the committee on the creation of the LED Committee WhatsApp platform and entreated members who are not on the platform to provide their contacts so as to be added.
Concerns were raised over the increasing number of weighing centres in the municipality. The MCE responded that, the Assembly-members were tasked to register these weighing centres at their various jurisdictions and furnish this data to the Municipal Assembly for the next action to be taken.
Adding to the discussion, Hon. Eric Abrokwah entreated the associations to get their weighing centres to enhance competition in the palm oil industry in the Kwaebibirem Municipality. This call was supported by Hon. Daniel Appiah and Hon. Nortey Yinusah.
PRESENTATION ON PRAMKESE INLAND VALLEY RICE PROJECT
Presenting to the committee on the project, the Agric. Director said, Pramkese is among the ten communities in the Eastern region where inland valleys have been constructed within Kwaebibirem Municipality. However, two inland rice valleys exist. She said they were constructed in 2007 at Pramkese and Okyinso Krobo.
Continuing, the Agric. Director informed the committee that Pramkese is noted as one of the rice growing communities in the Municipality. She added that, the total land area demarcated for the project is 45 acres (18 hectares), total area developed is 15 acres (6 hectares), undeveloped land area is 30 acres (12 hectares). The Dam and the plots were constructed between 2010 – 2017.
She took her time to state the objective behind the project:
• Job Creation.
• Generation of income for farmers and traders of rice.
• Generation of revenue for the municipality.
In her presentation, the estimated production of 1-acre of rice is Eight Thousand, Two Hundred and Eight Ghana Cedis (₵8,208.00) whiles the projected profit of 1-acre of rice production is Thirteen Thousand, and Forty-Two Ghana Cedis (₵13,042.00).
The Hon. Eric Abrokwa moved that the Municipal Assembly set aside 2-acres of land for experiment into the rice project and this was seconded by the Municipal Coordinating Director, Mr. F. Owusu-Akowuah.
After a long deliberation on the presentation, the committee tasked the Agric Director to collaborate with the Assembly to get technical input into the project so as to come-out with more comprehensive budget for the project before it kicks start.
UPDATE ON AGRO PROCESSING START- UP KITS HANDED OVER TO FIVE BENEFICIARY GROUPS IN FIVE COMMUNITIES IN THE KWAEBIBIREM MUNICIPALITY
The BAC Head, Mr. Sarkodie A. Obeng briefed the Committee on the allocation of five (5) Agro processing machines by the Municipal Assembly on 12th August, 2021 to five (5) groups in the five (5) communities namely:
He stressed that, after two years of handing over the machines to the beneficiary groups, the Municipal Assembly tasked the BAC office to undertake a follow up exercise to ascertain the state of the Agro Processing machines.
He continued that, upon the follow-up visit to the five beneficiary groups, his office noticed that all the beneficiary groups have not installed the Agro Processing machines. He said they attributed this situation to lack of funds.
He added that, these groups appealed to the Kwaebibirem Municipal Assembly to come to their aid in terms of financial support to install the machines.
Addressing the Committee, the BAC Head concluded that, budget estimate for installation of one (1) agro processing machine amounted to about Twenty-Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Sixty-Two Ghana Cedis (₵29,762.00)
He recommended that, necessary steps should be taken by the Municipal Assembly to ensure installation of the machines, and that each beneficiary groups should also come together to contribute funds and ensure installation of the machines.
After a long deliberation on the issue the committee recommended that going forward the Municipal Assembly should put in place measures to ensure that proper readiness assessment is made before machines of such nature are allocated to beneficiaries.
The committee then charged the BAC to write letter to notify the beneficiary groups, giving them ultimatum of three-months to install the machines, failure to do so will leave the Assembly with no option but to retrieve back the machines from the beneficiary groups.
The Municipal Coordinating Director, Mr. F. Owusu-Akowuah expressed his gratitude to the committee members for their preserved contributions. He also added that, a percentage of Common Fund will be set aside for the rice project after the technical assessment is done.