Regional News of Friday, 13 July 2012

Source: GNA

Upper East to benefit from tractor services under SADA

Small holder farmers in the Upper East Region are to benefit from tractor services from the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) Agriculture Input Support Programme, to assist them in their farming activities.

The beneficiaries are farmers in the region, who do not have the capacity to access tractor services and agricultural inputs because of financial constraints.

The programme, which is expected to last for 20 years, would see 10,000 small holder farmers from the SADA zone benefiting from farm inputs, seedlings fertilizers amongst other things to be replicated every year for five years.

Presenting some 20 tractors to service providers in Bolgatanga on Thursday, Mr. Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister, said SADA is an intervention that would bridge the development gab between the northern and southern sectors of the country and improve agriculture in its zones.

He said the agricultural input support scheme would go a long way to improving agricultural production in farming areas in the region and appealed to various Municipal and District Assemblies to take keen interest in activities of SADA.

He noted that the tractors would enhance mechanized agriculture, calling on service providers to ensure equity and regular maintenance of the tractors to further promote agricultural production in the region.

Mr. Philip Yimbil, Upper East Regional Economic Planning Officer, indicated that the service providers would hold in trust the tractors for the farmers in their respective areas and provide adequate farm services for them.

He mentioned the Farmer Training Centre, the Association of Church Development Project (ACDEP) and the African Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (ACED) as service providers mandated to provide tractor services, technical and extension services, provision of seeds and fertilizers and ultimately marketing services to beneficiaries.

The service providers, he added, would be responsible for the cost of the services to be paid back to SADA and subsequently used as a development fund.

“Each company is supposed to mobilize 500 small holder farmers to effectively educate them on farming protocols” he added, and called on the service providers to take adequate care of the machinery, identify and offer services to the farmers in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and District Assemblies.**