Ashaiman, May 18, GNA — Farmers under the Adjei-Kojo Mobisquad Irrigation Scheme operating on the right-wing of the Ashaiman Irrigation Scheme have appealed to President John Atta Mills and other relevant authorities to stop an alleged attempt to sell portions of the irrigation land for the construction of a fuel station.
Mr Kingsley Kutiame, President of the 13-member Mobisquad, told the Ghana News Agency at Ashaiman that the group had been farming on the 28-acre land since 1983 when the land was released to them by the head of the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) at Ashaiman.
Mr Kutiame said since the right bank canal of the irrigation system could not reach the said land for them to water their produce, some materials were supplied to them by the Agricultural Sector Investment Project, for the farming to commence after they have contacted, Mr Ibrahim Adams, the then Minister of Agriculture.
He said about a month ago, the farmers spotted some surveyors and officials of the GIDA demarcating the said land, and the information they gathered was that officials of GIDA have allegedly connived with the traditional leaders to sell portions of the land to Agapet Limited for the construction of a fuel filling station.
Mr Kutiame said the farmers who contacted the GIDA office at Ashaiman were told by officials that a letter was sent to the office for the demarcation to be carried out.
He pleaded that if nothing was done about the development, all the farm land would be sold, pointing out that farm lands must be kept for the purposes for which they were acquired, instead of the lands being sold to private developers.
Mr Kutiame added that members of the Mobisquad who engage in maize, okro and onion farming would lose their livelihood should such developments be allowed on the farm land.
Mr Charles Adeku, Acting Officer In-Charge of the Irrigation Development Centre, Ashaiman, when contacted for their side of the issue, refuted the allegation that his outfit had connived with the traditional leaders to sell the land.
Mr Adeku said his outfit received a letter dated April 17, 2012, signed by the Chief Executive Officer of GIDA and addressed to the Managing Director of Agapet Limited, stating that the Authority has considered Agapet’s request of one acre  on the fringes of the land, belonging to the Irrigation Scheme, near the Adjei Kojo Under-pass, for the construction of a fuel station.
He said the Authority had also given some portions of its land to the Electricity Company for building a sub-station as a form of protecting the land from encroachment.
He gave the assurance that even though the group was yet to receive any written recognition from GIDA, his outfit was ready to dialogue with them to find a lasting solution to problems such as encroachment on government acquired lands.

GNA

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