Agriculture General News

$32.53m Project To Boost Food Production In North Launched

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A project aimed at boosting food production and addressing key constraints in the agriculture value chain in Northern Ghana has been launched in Tamale.
Dubbed “Savannah Agricultural Value Chain Development Programme (SADEP), the project is expected to contribute to the government’s industrialisation agenda, support Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ), skills development and entrepreneurship for women and youth, and build resilient food systems in the north.

The five-year project is being initiated by the Savannah Agricultural Improvement Programme (SAPIP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture with a $32.53 million grant from the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Ghana.

The project interventions would include producing over 8,000 of crops, 50,000 guinea fowls, 50,000 broilers, and 50,000 layers as initial input for commercial poultry production, in accordance with the government subsidy policy.

At least, 5,000 women-headed households in vulnerable communities would be supported with 50,000 guinea fowls with each household receiving 10 birds for rearing to enhance farm income and household nutrition.

Overview

Giving the overview of the project at the launch in Tamale last Tuesday, the National Project Coordinator of SAPIP, Felix Dramani, said the project sought to build on successes under the SAPIP and Savannah Investment Programme (SIP) that had so far expanded the production of maize and soybean from 80 hectares in 2018 to 14,000 hectares in 2021.

“Inputs such as fertilisers and seeds will be provided to commercial farmers and their out-growers to boost local production of rice, soybean and maize,” he said.

Mr Dramani added that 20,000 jobs would be created under the project and it was expected that 40 per cent of those jobs would go to women and the youth.

He stated that it would be implemented in nine districts in the five regions of the north and would go a long way to address key constraints in food security and the poultry and livestock feed industry.

Commendation

For his part, the deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Crops, Yaw Frimpong Addo, lauded the AfDB for the continued support which was transforming the agricultural sector and the lives of the people.

He said the overall objective of the SEDAP project was to ensure national climate-resilient food and nutrition security, create employment and contribute to industrialisation.

Global crises

The Country Manager of AfDB, Eyerusalem Fasika, said the project was designed to help the government mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian/Ukraine war.

“We believe that prioritising key agricultural value chains in different agro-ecological zones of Ghana will create the platform and support needed to catalyse investment, and unlock Ghana’s potential for transformation,” she said.

The country manager added that the country had the technologies, private sector and the youth to achieve food sovereignty and develop innovative flagships to make sure that stakeholders, especially smallholder entrepreneurs, women and youth were not left behind.

Ms. Fasika reiterated her outfit’s commitment to continue to support the agricultural sector to help ensure food security.

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