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Business News of Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Source: GNA

Project to raise personal incomes through farming

Attempts to raise personal incomes of Ghanaians through significant raises in production levels of smallholder farmers is underway in six midsection districts of the Volta Region.

The districts are Kadjebi, Jasikan, Hohoe, Kpando, North-Dayi, and Afadjato-South.

The project, launched at Atonkor-Buem in the Jasikan district is dubbed, “Scaling out the Integrated Soil Fertility Management Project”.

It is under the aegis of the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and crafted after a hugely successful pilot in three districts ending recently.

Dr Kwasi Ampofo, AGRA Country Director, said within the three years of the pilot project, 18,115 in the beneficiary districts, Hohoe, Jasikan and Kadjebi, had adopted the Integrated Soil Fertility Management Technology which saw maize yield in targeted fields increase from 1.5 to between 2.9 and 3.5 metric tonnes.

He said if the first project more than doubled yields of farmers, what had just commenced should expectedly “lift them up to six (6) metric tonnes”.

The lead implementing Agency of the integrated project is Africare, an African-American led non-profit international development organization, working along with micro-finance organizations, agro-input, seed propagators, project evaluation firms and the technical officers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).

Dr Ampofo said the project would guide the farmers to dump the unsustainable method of slashing, burning, planting and moving on to fresher fields.

He said additionally the AGRA Project would ensure that “the farmer has access to high quality seed of improved crop varieties, high quality inputs such as fertilizers and chemicals, access to finance and better markets”.

Dr Ampofo said AGRA in Ghana had invested “some 80 million US dollars to help lift smallholder farmers,” who produce the chunk of the food, but remain poor.

Madam Hazel Hasford Project Manager of Africare said the current project would focus on maize and cassava targeting 20,000 farmers.

Mr Samuel Larbi, Volta Regional Director of MOFA wanted the project replicated in other district to speed up Ghana’s drive towards food security.