Business News of Saturday, 1 December 2012
The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) has injected GH?2,771,000 into dry season farming in the three northern regions for the cultivation of vegetables with focus on butternut.
The investment, which had assisted 150 nucleus and 225 out-grower farmers as well as 500 porters popularly called “Kayaye” with a monthly salary of GHc300 aims at promoting dry season farming and all year round agricultural activities in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions to facilitate economic growth.
The butternut crop which had already been planted on some of the fields is expected to be ready between February and March next year out of which 70 per cent would be exported to European markets while 30 per cent would be consumed locally to increase the nutritional content of Ghanaians.
Alhaji Gilbert Seidu Iddi, Chief Executive Officer of SADA made this known to journalists on Friday when he took them round irrigation farms at Yapei and Buipe to acquaint them about the progress of work.
He said SADA is collaborating with the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP), Ghana Irrigation Development Authority, Plus One Investment Limited, which a service provider and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to implement the dry season farming project.
The CEO said MWW, an European vegetables investor had already placed orders for SADA to deliver 100-foota container of butternut during the winter which coincidentally falls between February and April by which time the crop would be ready for harvesting.
Mr Dan Amed Saaka, Project Coordinator for SADA Dry Season Farming, said the project had put in place a robust team that would deliver to meet internationally acceptable levels.
Mr Roy Ayariga, National Coordinator of NRGP said dry season farming is one of the best ways of reducing poverty and creating jobs for many people especially the youth to take to agriculture as the main stake of their livelihood.
He expressed gratitude that the collaborations with SADA had grown exponentially adding “‘pump irrigation alone can transform the north given the potentials of arable land available”.
Mr. William Boakye-Acheapong, Northern Regional Director of Food and Agricultural Director said the core staffs of his outfit are available to deliver quality services to the farmers to ensure that the desired results are achieved.