Encroachers are terrorizing our research works- Wenchi Agric Station laments

Management of the Wenchi Agricultural Station is bemoaning the pace at which persons are encroaching their land.

 confirming a petition sighted by KkbPortal titled PETITION TO INVESTIGATE ENCROACHMENT ON WENCHI AGRICULTURAL STATION LAND, addressed to the office of the Wenchi Municipal Chief Executive, the Station Manager, Mr Robert Arthur revealed about 100 archers of the 912.5 archers of the station is being illegally acquired by individuals for residential purposes and cattle ranching.

This worrying situation, he noted started since 2004 but several attempts to curb the situation have proven futile.

Mr Arthur however could not fathom with the negative impact on the day to day activities of the station.

“Since here is a research center, we carry out many experimental activities which do not require any unauthorized human or animal interference. The cow dung most often affect the growth of some of the crops for experiments, where as the stray animals sometimes destroy our nurseries and plantations. It is really pathetic” Mr Arthur observed with a sigh of despair.

The station is among the 5 Agricultural Stations which was adopted in 1993 by MOFA to serve as; resource center for agricultural personnel and students at all levels as well as practicing and future youth farmers, research center for Research Institutions, Universities, students, NGOs and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain, live germplasm conservation for plant species and center for production and distribution of improved planting materials.

Based on their mandate, he appealed to farmers and institutions who want agricultural help to knock their door.

“As I speak now, we have improved cassava sticks in the field ready to be given freely to farmers. In December, our improved yam tubers will be ready. In this delight, I call on all farmers and institutions to knock on our already opened doors for partnership” Mr Arthur appealed.

To curb the incidence of the encroachment, due to its inevitable role the Station  plays in the agricultural sector, the Director of Crop Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Mr Seth Osei Akoto hinted the ministry has begun a negotiation process with needed stakeholders to save the station.

“We have started a negotiation plan with Wenchi Municipal Assembly and the traditional authority to help deal with the encroachers peacefully. To prevent further encroachment, the Ministry has mapped up a strategy to put the remaining parcel of land into good use, such is establishing plantations and leasing portions to youth who are ready to venture into agriculture. When the land is farrow, someone can encroach it, what if it is cultivated” Mr Akoto hinted.

He was with 97 participants of the 2nd session of the 9th Edition of the Master Training Program (MTP) to embark on a field trip to practicalize the knowledge learnt in pruning, pest, disease and insect control, grafting and other Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).

Mr Akoto took the opportunity to express the Ministry’s profound gratitude to GIZ/ComCashew for its immense contribution towards the cashew industry in Ghana.

“For the past five years, ComCashew has played  very magnificent roles in developing the cashew value chain in our country. From raising of nurseries, training for both extension officers and farmers (through the MTP), among others, they have caused a significant change in the cashew sector and the Government of Ghana want to commend them for that. We hope for an everlasting partnership” he

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