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President John Mahama last Saturday urged farmers and the youth, in Ziope area to lift farming activities there from subsistence to the business level for a higher standard of living.

Ziope, a major vegetable, especially, tomato producing enclave in the Volta region, was described by President Mahama as “one of the food baskets” in the country.

He therefore promised to instruct the Agriculture Extension Division of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to adopt Ziope as a “special project” and help vegetable farmers in the area to improve the quality of their produce.

President Mahama was addressing a durbar of Chiefs and people of the area to climax their “Agbleza”, Farming festival, under the theme “Celebrating farming through tradition.”

He urged young people in the area to take advantage of facilities under the Youth in Agriculture module of the Youth Employment Agency and go into commercial farming.

President Mahama said there was a huge market in the vegetable sub-sector which young farmers could reap to raise their standard of living.

He said that was the main reason why the government was rehabilitating the Keyime dam to facilitate dry season vegetable farming.

President Maham said work on 123 out of 200 promised Senior High Schools, one of which is at Ziope, were at various stages of completion.

“By December 2016 we would have completed all 200.” he said.

President Mahama said he was encouraged by the self-help spirit and peaceful atmosphere in Ziope area and promised to support development projects there.

He pledged to support a 65,000 Ghana cedis self-help bungalow being built for health personnel at the Community Clinic with 10,000 Ghana cedis.

President Mahama assured that the proposed Adidome Water project would be extended to Ziope and other communities such as Mafi, Adaklu and Agotime.

Togbui Binah Lawluvi VI, Paramount Chief of the Ziope Traditional area, expressed “our sincerest gratitude to this government for the numerous developmental projects that we have seen over these few years.”

“We are especially thankful that our Senior High School has been absorbed into the mainstream Public system,” he said.

Other projects which Togbui Lawluvi took note of included the Ziope to Akatsi road and the “reconstruction of the defunct Keyime Dam,” which he noted would promote the cultivation of tomatoes, okro and garden-eggs in the dry season.

Togbui Lawluvi was hopeful that the establishment of a Tomatoes Processing factory in Tema recently would solve the marketing problem facing tomatoes farmers in the area and   encourage them to increase their production.

“A new era has dawned for the people of this traditional area…to showcase what we have to offer the world, through hard-work,” he said.

Source: GNA