Business News of Sunday, 22 January 2017
A doctor in Geography and Resource Development at the University of Ghana, Legon has said, government’s proposed ‘One Village, One Dam’ project is feasible within two years as most of the villages in the three northern regions already have dry banks suitable for irrigational dams.
Speaking in an interview with B&FT at the ongoing 68th Annual New Year School, Dr. Alex Barimah Owusu confirmed: “The One Village One Dam’ project promised by the President is really doable. I see it as projects that can easily be achieved within the two years.
“We have data about mapping of locations and their water content within the three northern regions. We only need to revisit the data and update it. The data I am talking about were collected in 2011 and it was updated in 2013 -2014.”
He explained that feasibility studies that mapped all the underground water within the Northern region currently exist and that the data is available with the Water Resource Commission showing where there is suitable water for construction of dams.
He added that government need to visit all the existing dams based on the available data and take inventory of them and possibly collaborate with the numerous developmental non-governmental organisations operating in the northern region to help execute the project on time to help increase food production and revenue generation for the rural farmers within the northern region.
Dr. Owusu, speaking under the topic; “Promoting National Development Through Agricultural Modernization: E-Agriculture (ICT in Agriculture) mentioned high cost of technology in the agricultural sector, adding that basic global information system software could cost US$2080 with a basic laptop to run software also costing US$700.00.
He urged government to consider application of ICT to help improve information and communication processes for the benefit of the agricultural and rural development.
speaking on the topic: “E-solutions and Agriculture Productivity,” Mr. Daniel Asare-Kyei, the Managing Director of Esoko Ghana Ltd, said the company been providing relevant data on market prices and weather information to farmers via SMS to help them make better decisions about their farming activities, leading to better livelihoods.
This he said has helped in solving the numerous challenges facing farmers in the country’s crop value chain adding that having access to basic information could help farmers increase their revenues.
Mr. Asare-Kyei said a study conducted by New York University on Esoko’s Market Prices in Ghana, revealed an average of 10 per cent increase in revenues among participants receiving Esoko’s market prices.
He advocated the promotion of the use of mobile telephony to reach out to smallholder farmers.
He said Esoko, since its establishment, had been a fervent supporter of open data, adding that their social enterprise began by collecting data and sharing this information with farmers over SMS.
“Studies conducted on Esoko show that access to this data has helped smallholder farmers to increase their income levels,” he said.
He said the banks usually found it very difficult to assist farmers because they lacked the requisite knowledge on the farmer.
“We are taking advantage of mobile money service technology to reach out to smallholder farmers in order to provide assistance for them. With mobile money, Esoko had been able to build the history of farmers and is, therefore, in a position to assist them,” he remarked.