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Business News of Sunday, 11 September 2011

Source: GNA

AGRA/DANIDA awards 3.5 million dollars grant for agriculture project

Tamale, Sept. 11, GNA - The Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Danish Development Agency, (DANIDA) have awarded 3.5 million dollars grant for the execution of the Agriculture Value Chain Mentorship Project (AVMP) in the Northern Region.

The three-year project is being implemented by the International Centre for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute and the Ghana Agriculture Association's Business Information Centre.

Dr Wilson Dogbe, Project Manager Productivity Component of the AVMP, disclosed these at a stakeholder's sensitization workshop and launch of the

AVMP project for the Northern Region, in Tamale at the weekend.

He explained that the overall goal of the Project was to contribute towards Ghana's objective of achieving food security and becoming an agro-industrial economy, by strengthening the capacity of agro-dealers, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, Farmer Based Organizations, and farmers in Ghana's agriculture sector.

Dr Dogbe said these would transform these areas or sectors into highly productive, efficient, competitive and sustainable interties.

He said the project would be implemented in 16 major rice, maize and soybean growing districts, with emphasis on rice production.

Dr Dogbe mentioned Central Gonja and Tamale Metropolis and Savelugu/Nanton, Tolon/ Kumbungu, West and East Mamprusi Districts as beneficiary areas.

The others are: Karaga, Yendi, Chereponi, Nanumba North and South, Kpandi and East Gonja districts in the Northern Region.

Dr Dogbe said in 2009, the Northern Region produced 156 metric tons of maize, representing 10 per cent, rice 87 metric tons, representing 37 per cent and soybeans 73 metric tons, representing 65 per cent of the national output.

He said the national production was 1,620 metric tons of maize, 325 metric tons of rice and 133 metric tons of soybeans.

Dr Dogbe said rice demand in Ghana in 2015 was estimated to be five to seven times above current production, while the agriculture sector foresaw an aggressive per capita consumption growth from 38 to 64 kg/year.

Dr Andre Bationo, Project Manager of DANIDA/AGRA, asked stakeholders implementing the Project to collaborate effectively work as a team to ensure its success.

He asked them pay attention to the component of the Integrated Soil Fertility Management since that would improve upon the quality of the soils to enhance better crop yields.

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