Nii Osah Mills, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has said the government is committed to promoting the bamboo and rattan sector due to its enormous socio-economic and environmental potentials.
He said Ghana was respected in the sub-region as a country that had seen the potential of bamboo and rattan as an alternative to reducing pressure on its natural forest and its contribution to national development.
Nii Osah said this when he inaugurated the Bamboo, Cane and Rattan Craft Village at Ayi-Mensah in the Ga East Municipality.
The facility was provided by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) through the facilitation of the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources for artisans who were affected when the N1 H1 highway was constructed.
He said the facility came at a time when the ministry was exploring opportunities to further promote the bamboo and rattan industry in Ghana.
The Minister said with the provision of the facility, artisans are guaranteed a permanent work place.
He said the ministry, through its Bamboo and Rattan Development Programme (BARADEP), would continue to have an oversight responsibility for the promotion of the industry and would ensure that the facility was used for its intended purpose.
“The facility, when well patronize, will one day emerge as a ‘One-stop-destination’ for bamboo, cane and rattan products in the country and the sub-region,” he said.
Nii Mills appealed to the beneficiaries to immediately move from the city center to occupy the village as there are plans by the Ministry to promote the products and thanked MiDA for taking the initiative in providing the facility.
Prof Sefa Dede, Board Chairman of MiDA, said the Authority was expecting the Ministry to facilitate the movement of all artisans to occupy the village to make good use of the facility.
Mr Samuel Afari-Dartey, Executive Secretary of the Forestry Commission, said bamboo and rattan constituted the largest part of the timber industry and could potentially serve as a substitute to the decreasing timber industry.
He said the Commission had acquired additional plots of land for future expansion of the village and called on the artisans to desist from erecting illegal structures in the village. GNA