Paradigm Shift…NSS Management Engages In Large Scale Commercial Farming On 20, 000 Acre Land.2 min read
The National Service Secretariat (NSS) under the new Executive Director is doing what observers call novel and legendary.
The Secretariat, even without autonomy, has been able to negotiate a deal with the Chiefs and elders of Kumawu and gotten 20,000 acres of land for commercial farming.
At a visit to their farm site near Abotantire community last Saturday, the Secretariat had been able to clear and plant maize, soya bean, and rice in the major season. 2,000 acres has also been prepared for minor season.
During the visit, Farm Development Contractor, Kingsley Makelby, an enterprising Israeli service provider, told yours truly that the NSS was currently engaged in mixed cropping and fish farming.
The service, he disclosed had cultivated and harvested its early season maize and was getting ready to put into use the same place for maize as the second season rears its head in September.
At the time of my visit, the contractor said 100 National service persons were currently working on the farms.
He noted that they had hired 50 persons as permanent staff.
400 farmhands, the contractor revealed work daily on the farms, adding that they were carefully recruited from the community and are paid monthly for various services they provide.
During the visit, the NSS had almost completed a 12-unit bedroom apartment for personnel who would be on site.
Additionally, management plans to put more houses to accommodate the personnel on site.
He noted that Warehouses had been acquired in Agogo to receive the produce from the farms.
The NSS, he revealed has intention to sell to National Buffer Stock Company to enable them to supply the senior high schools as well as Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP).
The NSS farms can boast of state of the art machinery for cultivation and land development.
There were slashers, combined harvesters, tractors, and other large-scale planting equipment on site during my visit.
The site had water sprinklers set up across the large tract of land, and this makes it possible for the watering of the produce all year round and throughout the dry and wet seasons.
Acreage and items:
The NSS, during my visit had cultivated rice on 700 acres of land, 1000 acres had been put out for maize cultivation, 300 acres of soyabean, and cowpea plantation was also visible.
3000 pieces of catfish fingerlings were being reared in large containers.
1, 500 species of tilapia were also being reared on site.
Speaking to the Executive Director of the NSS on phone after the visit, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi said the idea behind the large-scale farming was to make the NSS farms a model for others to learn from.
He noted that it is aimed at making money for the scheme by selling the produce to feed the people.
The NSS administration, Mr Assibey added could also earn money to carry out its operations.
Story By Michael Ofosu-Afriyie, Kumasi.