The Market-Oriented Agricultural Programme (MOAP NW) under the European Union Ghana Agricultural Programme (EU- GAP) has handed over a solar-powered irrigation system to the Disa community in the North Gonja District of the Savannah Region.
The facility is expected to support the cultivation of vegetables throughout the year to enhance the livelihood of some 40 vegetable farmers, comprising three males and 37 females.
Supervised by the Johnny Royals Construction Engineering, the facility which was equipped with taps at vantage points in the gardens, and would also ensure that many more women joined the cultivation to generate income and also enhance the nutritional value of their meals at home.
Addressing participants at a ceremony at Disa to hand over the project last Friday, the team lead by the Agriculture Finance Consultant of MOAP NW, Dr Andrew Herbard, said the development of the solar-automated groundwater micro irrigation scheme was proposed four years ago, but construction began in November, last year.
“Rural women in agriculture remain challenged in areas of ownership and access to productive arable land as well as relevant information for their agricultural enterprises; there is therefore the need to channel resources and infrastructure to women engaged in the sector to improve productivity, and an important feature of the MOAP-NW programme is its focus on women farmers,” he said.
He explained that the EU/ GIZ co-financed MOAP NW programme which was designed to support the improvement of agricultural infrastructure and promote productive investments in North West Ghana, through strong community involvement, capacity building of stakeholders along selected value chains, extension training of service delivery systems for farmers and employment through agribusiness.
“We are happy to contribute to the government’s efforts to develop the agricultural sector; in an era of climatic vulnerability, as evidenced by increasingly erratic rainfall patterns which require climate-smart agricultural solutions,” he expressed.
Dr Harberd said the facility would ensure consistent water supply for all-year round to vegetable production, adding that the project is aimed to increase the productivity of women vegetable farmers by enhancing their livelihoods and generating economic opportunities.
To support climate smart and sustainable agriculture, he stated that MOAP NW had supported a group of women in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region to produce Neem oil for spraying crops which was not harmful to either the crops or human consumers.
The Savannah Regional Director of Agriculture, Alhaji Seidu Sulemana, who lauded NW for the intervention, said the irrigation scheme was one of the many benefits the community had enjoyed under the EU-GAP Project.
A beneficiary, Madam Mary Maana, who is an okro farmer, said even before the project was officially handed over, water from the scheme had kept her farm growing, and said she had already harvested and sold some okro at the market, earning around GH¢ 250.