Local farmers in Yilo Krobo in the Eastern region are now hopeful of an all-round year farming following the inauguration of the Kpornokle irrigation dam.
The farmers who spoke in an interview with Rite news at the site said the dam will now provide adequate water to aid their farming activities which hitherto was limited only to particular farming seasons due to inadequate rains.
The agric minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, inaugurated the facility at Kpornokli, a farming village near Oterkporlu in the Yilo Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region.
The facility is expected to bring relief to a large number of farmers disadvantaged by water challenges.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority, Mr. Wilson Darkwa is hopeful that the construction of the facility will go a long way in improving upon crop yield in the municipality.
Mr. Wilson gave the assurance in an interview with Rite news when the Minister inaugurated the GHC43m irrigation dam.
The dam is expected to provide irrigation services to about 105 farmers over 60 hectares of farmland in the community to improve the yields of crops grown there.
The acting CEO who regretted the limited irrigation opportunities in the Eastern region said this was despite the region’s agrarian status.
Irrigation challenges in the Yilo Krobo District of the Easter Region remains one of the major problems confronting farmers in the area.
Affected farmers say the situation is getting worse as there is no source of drinking water for livestock during the dry season because they have only one rainy season in a year and that also affects their livestock.
The execution of the Irrigation Project will enhance and equip farming activities to run smoothly and to reduce the tension of water difficulties in some farming communities.
It will also help in all Agribusiness and improve farming activities tremendously since irrigation has been one of the biggest challenges in the Agricultural sector as far as farming is concerned.
The irrigation challenge is seriously undermining education in the area as many of them cannot engage in dry season activities such as tomato, onion, pepper and green leafy vegetables.
The agric minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto as part of his two-day working visit to the Region, announced that the sale of subsidized fertilizer, under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), would end on December 31 and urged fertilizer distributors who have exceeded their targets to contact the Ministry’s extension officers for supply.
He said the subsidy also covered Urea and not NPK alone and expressed excitement over the performance of the Eastern Region under the planting for food and job programme.
Dr Akoto said planting for food and job was targeting 500,000 farmers this year but his tour of six regions showed that the project had already achieved the target adding that he was yet to visit Western, Central, Greater Accra and the Volta regions.
He said the Ministry had awarded a contract for the construction of 80 warehouses across the country to provide storage for the excess food expected under the planting for food and job and that he would seek Cabinet’s approval for the construction of 80 more warehouses next year.
Dr Akoto said the Government would soon receive large consignments of agriculture machinery for small-scale farmers from Brazil and India to enhance food production in the country.