The National Service Secretariat (NSS) is undertaking something that many describe as original and legendary.
Even without autonomy, the Secretariat was able to strike a contract with the Chiefs and elders of Kumawu and obtain 20,000 acres of land for commercial cultivation.
The Secretariat was able to clear and sow maize, soya bean, and rice in the major season during a visit to their farm site near Abotantire community last Saturday. A total of 2,000 acres have been readied for the minor season.
During the visit, an ambitious Israeli service provider, Farm Development Contractor Kingsley Makelby, informed yours truly that the NSS was currently involved in mixed cropping and fish farming.
He said that the service had cultivated and harvested its early season corn and was preparing to use the same location for maize when the second season arrived in September.
Personnel: During my visit, the contractor stated that 100 National Service members 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.