AngloGold Ashanti Ghana (AGAG) Limited has affirmed its commitment to working with stakeholders at Obuasi, a major mining community in the Ashanti Region, to diversify the local economy through agricultural development.
In line with this, the company has rolled out the ‘AGAG Obuasi Goes Agro (OGA) Programme,’ to help contribute to the creation of sustainable job opportunities for the people.
Mr Emmanuel Baidoo, the AGAG’s Senior Manager, Sustainability, speaking at the launch at Adaase in the Obuasi Municipality, hinted that Management had already engaged 90 community members on the farm.
A total of 150 acres of the company’s farms had been put under maize cultivation, so far, in the pilot phase and 20 acres of vegetables had been cultivated, he noted.
The Programme is being implemented as a social enterprise in partnership with the Department of Agriculture of the Obuasi Municipal Assembly and Obuasi Business Advisory Centre, as well as Ever Green Initiative, KB Agricare Consult and the Vegetable and Maize Out-grower Association.
It has envisioned establishing at least 200 farm households in the Obuasi Mine’s host communities by 2021 to ensure the production and sale of wholesome vegetables and cereal throughout the year.
Mr Baidoo said the company was determined to building the management capabilities of beneficiary farming households while establishing a functional vegetable out-growers’ association within host communities.
OGA is a flagship agricultural development intervention and key component of the AngloGold Ashanti Ghana’s three-year Social Management Plan, focusing on achieving a resilient food chain.
It is expected to promote wholesome vegetable/cereal production and marketing in host communities as an alternative viable economic activity to ensure sustenance.
The Reverend John Manu, the Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, assured that the Ministry would work in partnership with AngloGold Ashanti to achieve the goals of the OGA programme.
Nana Kwadwo Bonsu II, Paramount Chief of Bekwai, in a speech read on his behalf, advised the people, especially the youth, not to depend solely on mining for a living.
Opagyakotwere Afriyie Bonsra II, Chief of Adansi, who was represented, expressed the hope that the flagship programme would help revive the once vibrant agricultural sector to create alternative jobs and wealth for the citizenry.