By Samuel Hinneh
Ghana’s Vice President, John DramaniMahama, has launched a 24 million Ghana Cedis worth of agricultural inputs to boost agriculture and farmers’ incomes in the five regions covered by the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
The regions covered by the SADA are Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Volta and BrongAhafo regions. The high-point of the program is the deployment of 100 tractors to provide speedy access to ploughing and harrowing for some 16,000 farmers throughout the SADA zone.
Inaugurating the programme in Tamale, Vice-PresidentMahama noted that Government is committed to increasing jobs and productivity in agriculture.
On the new tractors being made available for the programme, the Vice-President stressed the need to manage these equipment well, noting “for SADA to craft a system that will allow ordinary farmers to be the real owners and managers of the asset, so that they will become modern managers of farm enterprises, graduating from being subsistence farmers’’.
Addressing the launching ceremony, Alhaji Gilbert Iddi, Chief Executive Officer of SADA, announced that SADA has embarked on an accelerated program of agricultural modernization that will transform production, productivity and asset creation among millions of small-holder farmers in the northern savannah zone.
In 2011, SADA disbursed over 5 million Ghana cedis to support 6,000 farmers who lost their livelihoods during the floods of 2010. This support has now been increased to 16,000 farmers.
AlhajiIddi noted that the package for farmers include tractor services, improved seeds (maize and soya), fertilizer, agro-chemicals and a sustained package of training on improved farming methods, appropriate farm management and harvesting as well as post-harvest marketing. These improved techniques and technology will be facilitated by over 20 private sector and NGO agri-business groups serving all districts in the SADA zone.