ADRA to improve productivity of 10,000 farmers

A tractor ploughing the landA tractor ploughing the landThe Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA) is implementing an agricultural initiative to improve productivity and incomes of about 10,000 farmers in the Northern Region by 2015.

It is expected to increase production figures for maize, rice and soya, as well as improve their marketability by linking farmers to identified produce buyers.

The project, known as the Integrated Agricultural Productivity Improvement and Marketing Project (INTAPIMP), is a three-year project that is being implemented with funding from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) through the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). 

Although agriculture has been acknowledged as a major contributor to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), yields keep declining due to a combination of factors, such as poor soil fertility, lack of productive capacity and increasing cost of production.

The Project Co-ordinator, Mr Isaac Kankam-Boadu, told journalists during a field visit to some farms at Nyankpala that the project would attempt to address some of the challenges facing crop production.

“The project is seeking to improve the capacity of farmers in production and productivity by helping them to improve soil fertility and access inputs to facilitate production,” he said.

He also explained that the farmers would benefit from technical expertise in various proven technologies that could increase yields by higher margins.

The project, Mr Kankam-Boadu further noted, also sought to improve the incomes of beneficiary farmers by linking them to markets for their produce.

This, he said, would ensure that farmers sold their produce and generate income to support their families and sustain their farming business.

Mr Kankam-Boadu said the INTAPIMP project would be implemented in eight districts in the Northern Region.

They are Central, West and East Gonjas, West Mamprusi, Yendi, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, Zabzugu and Bole.

He said already the project had kicked into action to support farmers for the 2013 crop season.

“We have supported 1,700 farmers to plough the fields and we have delivered about 9,000 bags of compound fertiliser and sulphate/ammonia to these farmers,” he said.

“We have also provided them with high yielding seeds so as to enable them to increase their yield per acre,” he further said.

Mr Kankam-Boadu said the problems facing crop production were enormous and, therefore, needed to be tackled head-on in order to guarantee food security.

By Nurudeen Salifu, Nyankpala
Daily Graphic/graphic.com.gh/Ghana

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