Agric Minister cuts sod for construction of farm infrastructure projects

Dr. Bryan Acheampong, Minister of Food and Agriculture, has cut the sod for the construction of farm infrastructure for smallholder farmers in Kwasi Fante, Afram Plains South District, Eastern Region.

The project, which is under the Emergency Support to Rural Livelihoods and Food Systems exposed to COVID-19 (ESRF), includes the construction of farm tracks (roads), water harvesting schemes, drying platforms, and boreholes.

It aims to enhance the lives of smallholder farmers by providing better access to markets, addressing water scarcity, increasing crop yields, and improving post-harvest management.

It is supported by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).

Speaking at the sod-cutting ceremony over the weekend, Dr Acheampong said building robust agriculture infrastructure was critical to improving farm yields and achieving food security for the country.

In that regard, he said, the government was embarking on a massive infrastructure development in the agriculture sector, disclosing th
at, about 100-hectare water harvesting schemes would be constructed for smallholder farmers in Tordzinu, South Tongu District, and Klenormadi, Ketu District, in the Volta Region.

Additionally, he said, 16 commodity drying platforms would be built, and 29.5 kilometres of farm tracks would be constructed in various regions.

‘Furthermore, 20 boreholes will be installed in the North-East Gonja, Nanton, Atebubu, Bono East, Northern, and Savannah regions,’ he added.

Dr Acheampong said the projects, when completed, would impact smallholder farmers and beneficiary communities, stating that they would be better equipped to face challenges posed by climate change.

The Minister urged contractors undertaking the projects to adhere to the highest construction standards and avoid shoddy work to ensure that the projects lasted a lifetime

He thanked IFAD for its assistance in making the projects feasible and called for collective action to transform the agricultural sector and contribute to Ghana’s economic growth.

Hayford Baah-Adade, the Programme Coordinator for ESRF, said that the projects would support smallholder farmers and beneficiary communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

He said that the initiative aimed to achieve three key goals: protect against hunger and build resilient livelihoods; safeguard rural marketing linkages and food security; and project management, monitoring, and evaluation.

He assured the Minister of delivering quality work, indicating that the contractors had been selected based on their expertise and successful track records in executing such infrastructure projects.

Dr. Baah-Adade urged supervising agencies, such as the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), the Department of Feeder Roads (DFR), and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), to be accountable for providing effective supervision and monitoring project progress to ensure quality and timely delivery of projects.

Source: Ghana News Agency