General News of Sunday, 3 December 2017
President Akufo-Addo says the government will commence processes to construct 192 small dams in various selected districts of the country from 2018.
He said the number is part of the total of 320 small dams and dug-outs planned to be constructed in 64 districts in northern Ghana as part of the government’s One-District-One-Dam project.
Akufo-Addo made the announcement at the 2017 National Farmers’ Day celebration in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region on Friday.
He said a water transmission project to distribute water from River Oti, the Black and White Volta to communities for productive cultivation will also begin in 2018.
That, he said, will bring up to 90,000 hectares of farmlands under irrigation.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo also expressed worry over the declining state of the Ghanaian agriculture sector and promised to reverse the trend.
“I can report that 320 small dams and dugout sites in 64 districts, in the northern part of the country, have been earmarked for development. Additionally, 192 will be evaluated in 2018 for development there. A provisional list of 51 dams in Volta, Greater Accra and Central Regions, has been submitted for consideration for rehabilitation. Additionally, a water transmission project will be done to distribute water from rivers Oti, the Black and White Volta to communities for productive cultivation,” he said.
Whilst bemoaning the decline in the agricultural sector, Akufo-Addo said the current state of the sector was worrying considering that s is one of the key areas contributing enormously to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He explained that low productivity, low application of technology, insufficient agro-financing, and land tenure issues among others, all contribute to the declining state of the country’s agriculture sector.
He said, “we can and we should overcome these problems if we keep our focus and ensure effective implementation of policies and programmes”.
President Akufo-Addo said the government is determined to reverse the trend by implementing its agriculture programmes and policies such as the One-Village-One-Dam, and One-district-One-Factory.
“Government will continuously support food production for domestic consumption, provision of raw materials for industry and exports. We aim to increase incomes and enhance livelihoods for farmers and their households.”
He thus called for the “support of all stakeholders, including our gallant farmers, fisher-folk, value chain actors, entrepreneurs, financial institutions and friends of Ghana, towards the realization of Government’s agenda of transformation of the agricultural sector.”
The theme for this year’s farmers’ day event was, “Farming for food and jobs”.